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Veröffentlicht unter Chinesische Philosophie | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Daniel Deronda

Daniel Deronda – George Eliot

We recognize George Eliot’s distinctive excellences all through: we never detect a flat or trivial mood of mind: if anything, the style is more weighty and piquant than ever, we may even say loaded with thought. Nobody can resort to the time-honourcd criticism that the work would have been better fur more pains, for labour and care are conspicuous throughout, and labour and care which always produce suitable fruit. But the fact is that the reader uever—or so rarelv as not to affect his general posture of mind—feels at home. The author is ever driving at something foreign to his habits of thought. The leading persons—those with whom her sympathies lie—are guided by Interests and motives with which he has never come in contact, and seem to his perception to belong to the stage once tersely described as peopled by such characters as were never seen, conversing in a language which was never heard, upon topics which will never arise in the commerce of mankind.‘ . . . ‚Daniel Deronda‘ may be defined as a religious novel without a religion.

Daniel Deronda

Daniel Deronda

Daniel Deronda.

ISBN: 9783849673888.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of Daniel Deronda (from Wikipedia):

Daniel Deronda contains two main strains of plot, united by the title character. The novel begins in late August 1865 with the meeting of Daniel Deronda and Gwendolen Harleth in the fictional town of Leubronn, Germany. Daniel finds himself attracted to, but wary of, the beautiful, stubborn, and selfish Gwendolen, whom he sees losing all her winnings in a game of roulette. The next day, Gwendolen receives a letter from her mother telling her that the family is financially ruined and asking her to come home. In despair at losing all her money, Gwendolen pawns a necklace and debates gambling again to make her fortune. In a fateful moment, however, her necklace is returned to her by a porter, and she realises that Daniel saw her pawn the necklace and redeemed it for her. From this point, the plot breaks off into two separate flashbacks, one which gives us the history of Gwendolen Harleth and one of Daniel Deronda.

In October 1864, soon after the death of Gwendolen’s stepfather, Gwendolen and her family move to a new neighbourhood. It is here that she meets Henleigh Mallinger Grandcourt, a taciturn and calculating man who proposes marriage shortly after their first meeting. At first she is open to his advances, then upon discovering that Grandcourt has several children with his mistress, Lydia Glasher, she eventually flees to the German town where she meets Deronda. This portion of the novel sets Gwendolen up as a haughty and selfish, yet affectionate daughter, admired for her beauty but suspected by many in society because of her satirical observations and somewhat manipulativebehaviour. She is also prone to fits of terror that shake her otherwise calm and controlling exterior.

Deronda has been raised by a wealthy gentleman, Sir Hugo Mallinger. Deronda’s relationship to Sir Hugo is ambiguous, and it is widely believed, even by Deronda, that he is Sir Hugo’s illegitimate son, though no one is certain. Deronda is an intelligent, light-hearted and compassionate young man who cannot quite decide what to do with his life, and this is a sore point between him and Sir Hugo, who wants him to go into politics. One day in late July 1865, as he is boating on the Thames, Deronda rescues a young Jewish woman, Mirah Lapidoth, from attempting to drown herself. He takes her to the home of some of his friends, where they learn that Mirah is a singer. She has come to London to search for her mother and brother after running away from her father, who kidnapped her when she was a child and forced her into an acting troupe. She finally ran away from him after discovering that he was planning to sell her into prostitution. Moved by her tale, Deronda undertakes to help her look for her mother (who turns out to have died years earlier) and brother; through this, he is introduced to London’s Jewish community. Mirah and Daniel grow closer and Daniel, anxious about his growing affection for her, leaves for a short time to join Sir Hugo in Leubronn, where he and Gwendolen first meet.

From here, the story picks up in „real time“. Gwendolen returns from Germany in early September 1865 because her family has lost its fortune in an economic downturn. Gwendolen is unwilling to marry, the only respectable way in which a woman could achieve financial security; and she is similarly reluctant to become a governess, one of the few respectable ways a woman of her background can work, because it means that her social status would be drastically lowered from wealthy landed gentry to almost that of a servant (one of the troubles of being a governess is that one’s status is above that of servant, so governesses seldom socialized with servants, yet at the same time, their status was far below that of their employers, so they could not socialize with them either). She hits upon the idea of pursuing a career in singing or on the stage, but a prominent musician tells her she does not have the talent. Finally, to save herself and her family from relative poverty, she marries the wealthy Grandcourt, despite having promised Mrs. Glasher she would not marry him, and fearing that it is a mistake. She believes she can manipulate him to maintain her freedom to do what she likes; however, Grandcourt has shown every sign of being cold, unfeeling, and manipulative himself.

Deronda, searching for Mirah’s family, meets a consumptive visionary named Mordecai. Mordecai passionately proclaims his wish for the Jewish people to retain their national identity and one day be restored to their Promised Land. Because he is dying, he wants Daniel to become his intellectual heir and continue to pursue his dream and be an advocate for the Jewish people. Although he is strongly drawn to Mordecai, Deronda hesitates to commit himself to a cause that seems to have no connection to his own identity. Deronda’s desire to embrace Mordecai’s vision becomes stronger when they discover Mordecai is Mirah’s brother. Still, Deronda is not a Jew and cannot reconcile this fact with his affection and respect for Mordecai/Ezra, which would be necessary for him to pursue a life of Jewish advocacy.

Gwendolen, meanwhile, has been emotionally crushed by her cold, self-centered, and manipulative husband. She is consumed with guilt for disinheriting Lydia Glasher’s children by marrying their father. On Gwendolen’s wedding day, Mrs. Glasher curses her and tells her that she will suffer for her treachery, which only exacerbates Gwendolen’s feelings of dread and terror. During this time, Gwendolen and Deronda meet regularly, and Gwendolen pours out her troubles to him at each meeting. During a trip to Italy, Grandcourt is knocked from his boat into the water, and after some hesitation, Gwendolen jumps into the Mediterranean in a futile attempt to save him. After this, she is consumed with guilt because she had long wished he would die and fears her hesitation caused his death. Coincidentally, Deronda is also in Italy. He has learned from Sir Hugo that his mother lives in Italy, and he goes there to meet her. He comforts Gwendolen and advises her. In love with Deronda, Gwendolen hopes for a future with him, but he urges her onto a path of righteousness, encouraging her to help others to alleviate her suffering.

Deronda meets his mother and learns that she was a famous Jewish opera singer with whom Sir Hugo was once in love. She tells him that her father, a physician and strictly pious Jew, forced her to marry her cousin whom she did not love. She resented the rigid piety of her childhood. Daniel was the only child of that union, and on her husband’s death, she asked the devoted Sir Hugo to raise her son as an English gentleman, never to know that he was Jewish. Upon learning of his true origins, Deronda finally feels comfortable with his love for Mirah, and on his return to England in October 1866, he tells Mirah this and commits himself to be Ezra/Mordecai’s disciple. Before Daniel marries Mirah, he goes to Gwendolen to tell her about his origins, his decision to go to „the East“ (per Ezra/Mordecai’s wish), and his betrothal to Mirah. Gwendolen is devastated by the news, but it becomes a turning point in her life, inspiring her to finally say, „I shall live.“ She sends him a letter on his wedding day, telling him not to think of her with sadness but to know that she will be a better person for having known him. The newlyweds are all prepared to set off for „the East“ with Mordecai, when Mordecai dies in their arms, and the novel ends.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Silas Marner

Silas Marner – George Eliot

‘Silas Marner’ is definitely one of the authoress’s most beautiful stories, the most poetical of them all—the tale of Silas Marner, who deems himself deserted and rejected utterly of God and man and to whom, in his deepest misery, in place of lost gold, a little foundling girl is sent. This tale is the most hopeful of all her books. The contemplation of the renewal of enterprise and energy, which comes with little children, and of the promise with which each new generation gilds the crown of honour for its sires, is pleasant and grateful to her

Silas Marner

Silas Marner

Silas Marner.

ISBN: 9783849673871.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of Silas Marner (from Wikipedia):

The novel is set in the early years of the 19th century. Silas Marner, a weaver, is a member of a small Calvinist congregation in Lantern Yard, a slum street in Northern England. He is falsely accused of stealing the congregation’s funds while watching over the very ill deacon. Two clues are given against Silas: a pocket knife, and the discovery in his own house of the bag formerly containing the money. There is the strong suggestion that Silas‘ best friend, William Dane, has framed him, since Silas had lent his pocket knife to William shortly before the crime was committed. Silas is proclaimed guilty, however, after a drawing of lots. The woman Silas was to marry breaks their engagement and instead marries William. With his life shattered and his heart broken, Silas leaves Lantern Yard and the city for a rural area where he is unknown.

Marner travels south to the Midlands and settles near the rural village of Raveloe in Warwickshire, where he lives isolated and alone, choosing to have only minimal contact with the residents. He throws himself into his craft and comes to adore the gold coins he earns and hoards from his weaving.

One foggy night, the two bags of gold are stolen by Dunstan („Dunsey“) Cass, a dissolute younger son of Squire Cass, the town’s leading landowner. Silas then sinks into a deep gloom, despite the villagers‘ attempts to aid him. Dunsey immediately disappears, but little is made of this by the community because it coincides with the death of the horse he was meant to be selling for his brother.

Godfrey Cass, Dunsey’s elder brother, also harbours a secret past. He is married to, but estranged from, Molly Farren, an opium-addicted woman of low birth living in another town. This secret prevents Godfrey from marrying Nancy Lammeter, a young woman of high social and moral standing. On a winter’s night, Molly tries to make her way to Squire Cass’s New Year’s Eve party with her two-year-old girl to announce that she is Godfrey’s wife. On the way, she lies down in the snow and passes out. The child wanders away and into Silas‘ house. Silas follows her tracks in the snow and discovers the woman dead. When he goes to the party for help, Godfrey heads outdoors to the scene of the accident, but resolves to tell no one that Molly was his wife. Molly’s death, conveniently for Godfrey and Nancy, puts an end to the marriage.

Silas keeps the child and names her Eppie, after his deceased mother and sister, both named Hephzibah. Eppie changes Silas‘ life completely. Silas has been robbed of his material gold, but thinks that he has it returned to him symbolically in the form of the golden-haired child. Godfrey Cass is now free to marry Nancy, but continues to conceal the fact of his previous marriage—and child—from her. However, he aids Marner in caring for Eppie with occasional financial gifts. More practical help and support in bringing up the child is provided by Dolly Winthrop, a kindly neighbour of Marner’s. Dolly’s help and advice assist Marner not only in bringing up Eppie, but also in integrating them into village society.

Sixteen years pass, and Eppie grows up to be the pride of the village. She has a strong bond with Silas, who through her has found a place in the rural society and a purpose in life. Meanwhile, Godfrey and Nancy mourn their own childless state, after the death of their baby. Eventually, the skeleton of Dunstan Cass—still clutching Silas‘ gold—is found at the bottom of the stone quarry near Silas‘ home, and the money is duly returned to Silas. Shocked by this revelation, and coming to the realisation of his own conscience, Godfrey confesses to Nancy that Molly was his first wife and that Eppie is his child. They offer to raise her as a gentleman’s daughter, but this would mean Eppie would have to forsake living with Silas. Eppie politely but firmly refuses, saying, „I can’t think o‘ no happiness without him.“

Silas revisits Lantern Yard, but his old neighbourhood has been „swept away“ in the intervening years and replaced by a large factory. No one seems to know what happened to Lantern Yard’s inhabitants. However, Silas contentedly resigns himself to the fact that he will never know and now leads a happy existence among his self-made family and friends. In the end, Eppie marries a local boy she has grown up with, Dolly’s son Aaron. Aaron and Eppie marry and move into Silas‘ house, which has been newly improved courtesy of Godfrey. Silas‘ actions through the years in caring for Eppie have apparently provided joy for everyone, and the extended family celebrates its happiness.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Middlemarch

Middlemarch – George Eliot

To many critics Middlemarch is the greatest novel George Eliot ever wrote. Its scope, its variety, its maturity and insight, are indubitable. Yet to others it lacks something of the charm and spontaneity of the author’s earlier works, and its very inclusiveness and scope lead to a certain confusion of plan- and blurring of outline that mark it as artistically imperfect. Whichever view is correct, the novel is admittedly great. Written late in George Eliot’s career, it is at once weighty with her considered evaluation of the essential factors in life and rich in her observation and experience of human nature. The plot is the most involved of any that the author has presented, and the characters are numerous even for a Victorian „three-decker.” In general there are two main groups of characters, not, it must be confessed, as closely inter-related as artistically they should be. Dorothea Brooke may be regarded as the centre of one group, and Dr. Lydgate of the other. Both represent the tragedy of high aims that fail to take fully into account the actualities of life. Dorothea sentimentally pines to be the helpmate of a genius; but as the wife of the Rev. Edward Casaubon, who is writing a ‚Key to All Mythologies,‘ she is disillusioned, and her misery is ended only by the death of her husband. Dr. Lydgate comes to Middlemarch with excellent training, determined to push forward in biological research. However, he marries the attractive but unpractical Rosamond Vincy, is overwhelmed in debts and his possible career fades into nothingness. But George Eliot’s view of life is not distortedly pessimistic. Over against the sombre recognition of the inadequacies and weaknesses of humanity must be placed her portrayal of the fine and strong elements. Dorothea herself is genuine and charming fundamentally; the Garths are sterling, and full of vitality. For all its wavering and crowded plot, ‚Middlemarch‘ is permanently valuable because it represents a realism that endeavors to reflect in just proportions the good and bad in life; a realism, moreover, that does not content itself merely with presenting life, but shrinks not from the task of interpretation and evaluation.

Middlemarch

Middlemarch

Middlemarch.

ISBN: 9783849673864.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of Middlemarch (from Wikipedia):

Middlemarch is centred on the lives of the residents of Middlemarch, a fictitious Midlands town, from 1829 onwards—the years preceding the 1832 Reform Act. The narrative is variably considered to consist of three or four plots of unequal emphasis: the life of Dorothea Brooke; the career of Tertius Lydgate; the courtship of Mary Garth by Fred Vincy; and the disgrace of Nicholas Bulstrode. The two main plots are those of Dorothea and Lydgate. Each plot happens concurrently, although Bulstrode’s is centred in the later chapters.

Dorothea Brooke is a 17-year-old orphan, living with her younger sister, Celia, under the guardianship of her uncle, Mr Brooke. Dorothea is an especially pious young woman, whose hobby involves the renovation of buildings belonging to the tenant farmers, though her uncle discourages her. Dorothea is courted by Sir James Chettam, a young man close to her own age, but she remains oblivious to him. She is instead attracted to The Reverend Edward Casaubon, who is 45, and Dorothea accepts his offer of marriage, despite her sister’s misgivings. Chettam is meanwhile encouraged to turn his attention to Celia, who has developed an interest in him.

Fred and Rosamond Vincy are the eldest children of Middlemarch’s town mayor. Having never finished university, Fred is widely considered a failure and a layabout, but he allows himself to coast because he is the presumed heir of his childless uncle Mr. Featherstone, an unpleasant, though rich, man. Featherstone keeps a niece of his through marriage, Mary Garth, as a companion, and, though she is considered plain, Fred is in love with her and wants to marry her.

On their honeymoon in Rome, Dorothea and Casaubon experience the first tensions in their marriage when Dorothea finds that her husband has no interest in involving her with his intellectual pursuits, which was her chief reason for marrying him. She meets Will Ladislaw, Casaubon’s much younger cousin whom he supports financially. Ladislaw begins to feel attracted to Dorothea, though she remains oblivious, and the two become friendly.

Fred develops a deep debt and finds himself unable to repay the money. Having asked Mr. Garth, Mary’s father, to co-sign the debt, he now tells Garth he must forfeit it. As a result, Mrs. Garth’s savings, which represent 4 years worth of income she held in reserve for the education of her youngest son, and Mary’s savings are completely wiped out. Consequently, Mr. Garth warns Mary against ever marrying Fred.

Fred comes down with an illness and is cured by Mr. Tertius Lydgate, the newest doctor in Middlemarch. Lydgate has new ideas about medicine and sanitation, and believes that doctors should prescribe but not themselves dispense medicines, drawing the ire and criticism of many in the town. Rosamond Vincy, who is well-educated and seeks to make a good match, decides to marry Lydgate and uses Fred’s sickness as an opportunity to get close to the doctor. Though he initially views their relationship as pure flirtation, Lydgate backs away from Rosamond after discovering that the town considers them practically engaged. However, after seeing her a final time, he breaks his resolution to abandon his relationship with Rosamond and the two become engaged.

At roughly the same time, Casaubon, returned from Rome, suffers a heart attack. Lydgate is brought in to attend to him and informs Dorothea that Casaubon only has around fifteen years left if he takes it easy and ceases his studies. Meanwhile, as Fred recovers, Mr. Featherstone becomes ill. On his deathbed, he reveals that he has two wills and tries to get Mary to help him destroy one. Unwilling to be mixed up in the business of his will, she refuses, and Featherstone dies with the two wills still intact. Featherstone’s plan had been for £10,000 to go to Fred Vincy, but his estate and fortune instead goes to an illegitimate son of his, Joshua Rigg.

In poor health, Casaubon attempts to extract from Dorothea a promise that, should he die, she will „avoid doing what I should deprecate, and apply yourself to do what I should desire“. He dies before she can reply, and she later learns of a provision in his will that, if she marries Ladislaw, she will lose her inheritance. The peculiar nature of Casaubon’s will leads to general suspicion that Ladislaw and Dorothea are lovers, creating awkwardness between the two. Ladislaw is secretly in love with Dorothea but keeps this to himself, having no desire to involve her in scandal or to cause her disinheritance. He remains in Middlemarch, working as a newspaper editor for Mr Brooke, who is mounting a campaign to run for Parliament under a Reform platform.

Lydgate’s efforts to please Rosamond soon leave him deeply in debt, and he is forced to seek help from Bulstrode. He is partly sustained through this by his friendship with Camden Farebrother. Meanwhile Fred Vincy’s humiliation at being responsible for Caleb Garth’s financial setbacks shocks him into reassessing his life. He resolves to train as a land agent under the forgiving Caleb.

John Raffles, a mysterious man who knows of Bulstrode’s shady past, appears in Middlemarch, intending to blackmail him. In his youth, the church-going Bulstrode engaged in questionable financial dealings, and his fortune is founded on his marriage to a much older, wealthy widow. Bulstrode’s terror of public exposure as a hypocrite leads him to hasten the death of the mortally sick Raffles, while lending a large sum to Lydgate to allay his suspicions. However, the story of his past has already spread. Bulstrode’s disgrace engulfs Lydgate, as knowledge of the loan becomes known, and he is assumed to be complicit with Bulstrode. Only Dorothea and Farebrother maintain faith in him, but Lydgate and Rosamond are nevertheless encouraged by the general opprobrium to leave Middlemarch. The disgraced and reviled Bulstrode’s only consolation is that his wife stands by him as he too faces exile.

When Mr Brooke’s election campaign collapses, Ladislaw decides to leave the town and visits Dorothea to say his farewell. But Dorothea has also fallen in love with him, whom she had previously seen only as her husband’s unfortunate relative. She renounces Casaubon’s fortune and shocks her family by announcing that she will marry Ladislaw. At the same time, Fred, who has been successful in his new career, marries Mary.

The „Finale“ details the eventual fortunes of the main characters. Fred and Mary marry and live contentedly with their three sons. Lydgate operates a practice outside of Middlemarch but never finds fulfilment and dies at the age of 50, leaving Rosamond and four children. After he dies, Rosamond marries a wealthy physician. Ladislaw engages in public reform, and Dorothea is content as a wife and mother to their two children. Their son eventually inherits Arthur Brooke’s estate.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Romola

Romola – George Eliot

Romola, one of the best-known novels by George Eliot (C. P. P.), was originally published in 1863. The scene is in Florence, Italy, at the end of the fifteenth century. Roinola, the heroine, a daughter of the Italian family of Bardi, marries Tito Melema, a Greek, but the marriage proves a failure, and she sacrifices herself in devotion to the people during the plague. A marvellously able story of the revival of the taste and beauty and freedom of Hellenic manners and letters, under Lorenzo di Medici and the scholars of his Court, side by side with the revival of Roman virtue, and more than the ancient austerity and piety, under the great Dominican, Savonarola. The period of history is one which of all others may well have engrossing interest for George Eliot. Treasures of learning and discipline, amassed for mankind ages before, for ages stored and hidden away, see again the sun, are recognized and put to use. What use they will be put to, with what new and fruitful effects on the State and the citizen, with what momentary and with what lasting consequences, this she strives to discover ; this she follows through the public history of Italy during the modern invasion of Charles VIII., and the events which succeed his invasion, and through the private fortunes of her admirably chosen group of characters, some of them drawn from life, all of them true to nature.

Romola

Romola

Romola.

ISBN: 9783849673857.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of Romola (from Wikipedia):

Florence, 1492: Christopher Columbus has sailed towards the New World, and Florence has just mourned the death of its legendary leader, Lorenzo de‘ Medici. In this setting, a Florentine trader meets a shipwrecked stranger, who introduces himself as Tito Melema, a young Italianate-Greek scholar. Tito becomes acquainted with several other Florentines, including Nello the barber and a young girl named Tessa. He is also introduced to a blind scholar named Bardo de‘ Bardi, and his daughter Romola. As Tito becomes settled in Florence, assisting Bardo with classical studies, he falls in love with Romola. However, Tessa falls in love with Tito, and the two are „married“ in a mock ceremony.

Tito learns from Fra Luca, a Dominican monk, that his adoptive father has been forced into slavery and is asking for assistance. Tito introspects, comparing filial duty to his new ambitions in Florence, and decides that it would be futile to attempt to rescue his adoptive father. This paves the way for Romola and Tito to marry. Fra Luca shortly thereafter falls ill and before his death he speaks to his estranged sister, Romola. Ignorant of Romola’s plans, Fra Luca warns her of a vision foretelling a marriage between her and a mysterious stranger who will bring pain to her and her father. After Fra Luca’s death, Tito dismisses the warning and advises Romola to trust him. Tito and Romola become betrothed at the end of Carnival, to be married at Easter after Tito returns from a visit to Rome.

The novel then skips ahead to November 1494, more than eighteen months after the marriage. In that time, the French-Italian Wars have seen Florence enter uneasy times. Girolamo Savonarola preaches to Florentines about ridding the Church and the city of scourge and corruption, and drums up support for the new republican government. Piero de‘ Medici, Lorenzo de‘ Medici’s son and successor to the lordship of Florence, has been driven from the city for his ignominious surrender to the invading French king, Charles VIII. The Medici palace is looted and the Medici family formally exiled from the city. In this setting, Tito, now a valued member of Florentine society, participates in the reception for the French invaders. Tito encounters an escaped prisoner, who turns out to be his adopted father, Baldassarre. Panicked and somewhat ashamed of his earlier inaction, Tito denies knowing the escaped prisoner and calls him a madman. Baldassarre escapes into the Duomo, where he swears revenge on his unfilial adoptive son. Growing ever more fearful, Tito plans to leave Florence. To do this, he betrays his late father-in-law, Bardo, who died some months earlier, by selling the late scholar’s library. This reveals to Romola the true nature of her husband’s character. She secretly leaves Tito and Florence, but is persuaded by Savonarola to return to fulfil her obligations to her marriage and her fellow Florentines. Nevertheless, the love between Romola and Tito has gone.

Again the action of the novel moves forward, from Christmas 1494 to October 1496. In that time, Florence has endured political upheaval, warfare and famine. Religious fervour has swept through Florence under the leadership of Savonarola, culminating in the Bonfire of the Vanities. The League of Venice has declared war on the French king and his Italian ally, Florence. Starvation and disease run rampant through the city. Romola, now a supporter of Savonarola, helps the poor and sick where she can. Meanwhile, Tito is embroiled in a complex game of political manoeuvring and duplicitous allegiances in the new Florentine government. Mirroring this, he has escaped attempts by Baldassarre to both kill and expose him, and maintains a secret marriage to Tessa, with whom he has fathered two children. Romola becomes defiant of Tito, and the two manoeuvre to thwart each other’s plans. Romola meets an enfeebled Baldassarre, who reveals Tito’s past and leads her to Tessa.

Political turmoil erupts in Florence. Five supporters of the Medici family are sentenced to death, including Romola’s godfather, Bernardo del Nero. She learns that Tito has played a role in their arrest. Romola pleads with Savonarola to intervene, but he refuses. Romola’s faith in Savonarola and Florence is shaken, and once again she leaves the city. Meanwhile, Florence is under papal pressure to expel Savonarola. His arrest is effected by rioters, who then turn their attention to several of the city’s political elite. Tito becomes a target of the rioters, but he escapes the mob by diving into the Arno River. However, upon leaving the river, Tito is killed by Baldassarre.

Romola makes her way to the coast. Emulating Gostanza in Boccaccio’s The Decameron (V, 2), she drifts out to sea in a small boat to die. However, the boat takes her to a small village affected by the Plague, and she helps the survivors. Romola’s experience gives her a new purpose in life and she returns to Florence. Savonarola is tried for heresy and burned at the stake, but for Romola his influence remains inspiring. Romola takes care of Tessa and her two children, with the help of her older cousin. The story ends with Romola imparting advice to Tessa’s son, based on her own experiences and the influences in her life.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Essays of George Eliot

The Essays of George Eliot – George Eliot

George Eliot prepared for the press a few essays which she had written before she became famous. These essays she left, with the injunction that no fugitive writings of hers prior to 1857 should be republished, other than those thus prepared. Then they have been published as a volume in Harper’s edition of the Works of George Eliot. The subjects presented are, Worldliness and Other-Worldliness, (the poet Young.) German Wit, (Henrich Heine). Evangelical Teaching, (Dr. Cumming.) Influence of Rationalism, (Mr. Lecky’s History.) Natural History of German Life, (The books of W. H Richl.) and an Address to Working Men, by Felix Holt.

The Essays of George Eliot

The Essays of George Eliot

The Essays of George Eliot.

ISBN: 9783849673840.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

A short biography of George Eliot (from Wikipedia):

Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.

She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works would be taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot’s lifetime, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women’s writing being limited to lighthearted romances. She also wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic. Another factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny, thus avoiding the scandal that would have arisen because of her adulterous relationship with the married George Henry Lewes.

Eliot’s Middlemarch has been described by Martin Amis and Julian Barnes as the greatest novel in the English language.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Scenes of Clerical Life

Scenes of Clerical Life – George Eliot

The first of the three stories, ‘The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton,’ is the slightest and simplest. Mr. Barton, a curate, with an income of eighty pounds a-year, with an angelic but sickly wife and a host of hungry little children, allows himself to be duped by the title of a ‘Countess Czerlaski,’ the handsome English widow of a Polish dancing-master. The countess quarrels with her brother, Mr. Bridmain, and throws herself on the hospitality of the Bartons. Her visit lasts beyond all reasonable time, the unfortunate couple are eaten up by the expense of providing for her, Mr. Barton’s character is aspersed on account of his kindness to her, and Mrs. Barton dies of working for her. Mr. Barton loses his curacy, goes into another neighbourhood, and, after many years, revisits his wife’s grave in company with his children. The next story tells how the Rev. Maynard Gilfil loved Tina Sarti, an Italian orphan, who had been brought to England by Sir Christopher and Lady Cheverel, and lived under their shadow in a dignified country house. Tina, however, had fixed her affections on Sir Christopher’s nephew, Captain Wybrow; and when the captain pays court to a beautiful, rich, and lofty heiress, the little Italian girl is so exasperated by his conduct, that she resolves to stab him at an appointed interview. She is happily spared this crime, as, on reaching the place of meeting, she finds the faithless captain dead from a sudden attack of heart-disease. After a decent interval she marries Mr. Gilfil, but dies in giving birth to her first child; and Mr. Gilfil is represented to us (as the writer professes to have known him) in age—a clergyman of the ‘old school, a good deal of a humourist, and to outward appearance as unromantic a person as need be, but keeping a chamber in his house sacred to the memory of his wife, and cherishing in his heart a lifelong sorrow for his early bereavement. The last “Scene of Clerical Life’ shows how Robert Dempster, a brutal and drunken attorney in a little country town, came by his vices to a bad end—how his wife Janet, who had taken to drinking in order to support his outrageous treatment of her, was reclaimed—and how Mr. Tryan, an “evangelical‘ curate, who had contributed to her reformation, succeeded in establishing an evening lecture at the parish church in the face of strong opposition, and died in consequence of his zealous pastoral labours.

Scenes of Clerical Life

Scenes of Clerical Life

Scenes of Clerical Life.

ISBN: 9783849673833.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of Scenes of Clerical Life (from Wikipedia):

„The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton“
The titular character is the new curate of the parish church of Shepperton, a village near Milby. A pious man, but „sadly unsuited to the practice of his profession“, Barton attempts to ensure that his congregation remains firmly within the care of the Church of England. His stipend is inadequate, and he relies on the hard work of Milly, his wife, to help keep the family. Barton is new to the village and subscribes to unpopular religious ideas; not all of the congregation accept him, but he feels that it is especially important to imbue them with what he sees as orthodox Christian views.

Barton and Milly become acquainted with Countess Caroline Czerlaski. When the Countess‘ brother, with whom she lives, gets engaged to be married to her maid, she leaves home in protest. Barton and his wife accept the Countess into their home, much to the disapproval of the congregation, who assume her to be his mistress. The Countess becomes a burden on the already stretched family, accepting their hospitality and contributing little herself. With Milly pregnant and ill, the children’s nurse convinces the Countess to leave.

Milly dies following the premature birth of her baby (who also dies) and Barton is plunged into sadness at the loss. Barton’s parishioners, who were so unsympathetic to him as their minister, support him and his family in their grief: „There were men and women standing in that churchyard who had bandied vulgar jests about their pastor, and who had lightly charged him with sin, but now, when they saw him following the coffin, pale and haggard, he was consecrated anew by his great sorrow, and they looked at him with respectful pity“. Just as Barton is beginning to come to terms with Milly’s death, he gets more bad news: the vicar, Mr. Carpe, will be taking over at Shepperton church. Barton is given six-months notice to leave. He has no choice but to comply, but is disheartened, having at last won the sympathies of the parishioners. Barton believes that the request was unfair, knowing that the vicar’s brother-in-law is in search of a new parish in which to work. However, he resigns himself to the move and at length obtains a living in a distant manufacturing town.

The story concludes twenty years later with Barton at his wife’s grave with one of his daughters: Patty. In the intervening years much has changed for Barton; his children have grown up and gone their separate ways. His son Richard is particularly mentioned as having shown talent as an engineer. Patty remains with her father.

„Mr. Gilfil’s Love Story“
The second work in Scenes of Clerical Life is entitled „Mr. Gilfil’s Love-Story“ and concerns the life of a clergyman named Maynard Gilfil. We are introduced to Mr Gilfil in his capacity as the vicar of Shepperton, ‚thirty years ago‘ (presumably the late 1820s) but the central part of the story begins in June 1788 and concerns his youth, his experiences as chaplain at Cheverel Manor and his love for Caterina Sarti. Caterina, known to the family as ‚Tina‘, is an Italian orphan and the ward of Sir Christopher and Lady Cheverel, who took her into their care following the death of her father. In 1788 she is companion to Lady Cheverel and a talented amateur singer.

Gilfil’s love for Tina is not reciprocated; she is infatuated with Captain Anthony Wybrow, nephew and heir of Sir Christopher Cheverel. Sir Christopher intends Wybrow to marry a Miss Beatrice Assher, the daughter of a former sweetheart of his, and that Tina will marry Gilfil. Wybrow, aware of and compliant to his uncle’s intentions, nonetheless continues to flirt with Tina, causing her to fall deeply in love with him. This continues until Wybrow goes to Bath to press his suit to Miss Assher. He is then invited to the Asshers‘ home, and afterwards returns to Cheverel Manor, bringing with him Miss Assher and her mother. Wybrow dies unexpectedly. Gilfil, finding a knife on Tina, fears that she has killed him, but the cause of death is in fact a pre-existing heart complaint. Tina runs away, and Gilfil and Sir Christopher fear that she has committed suicide. However, a former employee of Sir Christopher and Lady Cheverel returns to the manor to inform them that Tina has taken refuge with him and his wife. Gilfil seeks her out, helps her recover and marries her. It is hoped that marriage and motherhood, combined with Gilfil’s love for her, which she now reciprocates, will endue her with a new zest for life. However, she dies in childbirth soon afterwards, leaving the curate to live out the rest of his life alone and die a lonely man.

„Janet’s Repentance“
Janet’s Repentance is the only story in Scenes of Clerical Life set in the town of Milby itself. Following the appointment of Reverend Mr Tryan to the chapel of ease at Paddiford Common, Milby is deeply divided by religious strife. One party, headed by the lawyer Robert Dempster, vigorously supports the old curate, Mr Crewe; the other is equally biased in favour of the newcomer. Edgar Tryan is an evangelical, and his opponents consider him to be no better than a dissenter. Opposition is based variously in doctrinal disagreement and on a suspicion of cant and hypocrisy on the part of Mr Tryan; in Dempster’s wife, Janet, however, it stems from an affection for Mr Crewe and his wife, and the feeling that it is unkind to subject them to so much stress in their declining years. She supports her husband in a malicious campaign against Mr Tryan, despite the fact that Dempster is frequently drunkenly abusive to her, which drives her to drink in turn. One night her husband turns her out of the house; she takes refuge with a neighbour, and, remembering an encounter with Mr Tryan at the sickbed of one of his flock, where she was struck by an air of suffering and compassion about him, asks he might come to see her. He encourages her in her struggle against her dependence on alcohol and her religious conversion. Shortly afterwards Robert Dempster is thrown from his gig and seriously injured. Upon discovering what has happened, Janet, forgiving him, returns to her home and nurses him through the subsequent illness until he dies a few weeks later. Tryan continues to guide Janet toward redemption and self-sufficiency following the death of her husband. She, in turn, persuades him to move out of his inhospitable accommodation and into a house that she has inherited. It is hinted that a romantic relationship might subsequently develop between the two. His selfless devotion to his needy parishioners has taken his toll on his health, however, and he succumbs to consumptionand dies young.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot

In the ‘Mill on the Floss’ the persons on whom the chief interest is supposed to depend are Tom and Maggie Tulliver, the children of a rough, honest, hot-tempered, obstinate, litigious miller. Old Tulliver is ruined by a lawsuit about “erigation,” and has a stroke of paralysis, from which he recovers so far as to carry on the management of the mill under the new owner, Wakem, a lawyer whom he regards as the cause of his misfortunes. But, although determined to serve Wakem faithfully, he makes a solemn resolution of vengeance against him and his, and causes Tom to record it in the family Bible. Tom suits himself to the change of circumstances, and, by means of his aunt’s husband, Mr. Deane, who is a partner in the firm, he finds employment under Guest and Company, the principal merchants in the neighbouring town of St. Ogg’s. After a few years, by means of Tom’s earnings and his father’s savings, the Tulliver creditors are paid in full; but the old miller, in returning triumphant from a dinner given on the occasion, falls in with his master and enemy Wakem, quarrels with him, horsewhips him, and dies of the excitement and exertion…

The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss.

ISBN: 9783849673826.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of The Mill on the Floss (from Wikipedia):

The novel spans a period of 10 to 15 years and details the lives of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, siblings growing up at Dorlcote Mill on the River Floss at its junction with the more minor River Ripple near the village of St Ogg’s in Lincolnshire, England. Both the river and the village are fictional.

The novel is initially set in the late 1820s or early 1830s – a number of historical references place the events in the book after the Napoleonic Wars but before the Reform Act of 1832.(In chapter 3, the character Mr Riley is described as an „auctioneer and appraiser thirty years ago,“ placing the opening events of the novel in approximately 1829, thirty years before the novel’s composition in 1859. Additionally, in chapter 8, Mr Tulliver and Mr Deane discuss the Duke of Wellington and his „conduct in the Catholic Question,“ a conversation that could only take place after 1828 when Wellington became Prime Minister and supported a bill for Catholic Emancipation). The novel includes autobiographical elements, and reflects[citation needed]the disgrace that George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) herself experienced while in a lengthy relationship with a married man,[citation needed] George Henry Lewes.

Maggie Tulliver is the central character of the book. The story begins when she is 9 years old, 13 years into her parents‘ marriage. Her relationship with her older brother Tom, and her romantic relationships with Philip Wakem (a hunchbacked, sensitive, and intellectual friend) and with Stephen Guest (a vivacious young socialite in St Ogg’s and assumed fiancé of Maggie’s cousin Lucy Deane) constitute the most significant narrative threads.

Tom and Maggie have a close yet complex bond, which continues throughout the novel. Their relationship is coloured by Maggie’s desire to recapture the unconditional love her father provides before his death. Tom’s pragmatic and reserved nature clashes with Maggie’s idealism and fervor for intellectual gains and experience. Various family crisis, including bankruptcy, Mr Tulliver’s rancorous relationship with Philip Wakem’s father, which results in the loss of the mill, and Mr Tulliver’s untimely death, serve both to intensify Tom’s and Maggie’s differences and to highlight their love for each other. To help his father repay his debts, Tom leaves school to enter a life of business. He eventually finds a measure of success, restoring the family’s former estate. Meanwhile, Maggie languishes in the impoverished Tulliver home, her intellectual aptitude wasted in her socially isolated state. She passes through a period of intense spirituality, during which she renounces the world, spurred by Thomas à Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ.

This renunciation is tested by a renewed friendship with Philip Wakem, with whom she had developed a friendship while he and Tom were students together. Against the wishes of Tom and her father – who both despise the Wakems – Maggie secretly meets with Philip, and together they go for long walks through the woods. The relationship they forge is founded partially in Maggie’s heartfelt pity for broken and neglected human beings, but it also serves as an outlet for her intellectual romantic desires. Philip’s and Maggie’s attraction is, in any case, inconsequential because of the family antipathy. Philip manages to coax a pledge of love from Maggie. When Tom discovers the relationship between the two, however, he forces his sister to renounce Philip, and with him her hopes of experiencing the broader, more cultured world he represents.

Several more years pass, during which Mr Tulliver dies. Lucy Deane invites Maggie to come and stay with her and experience the life of cultured leisure that she enjoys. This includes long hours conversing and playing music with Lucy’s suitor, Stephen Guest, a prominent St Ogg’s resident. Stephen and Maggie, against their rational judgments, become attracted to each other. The complication is compounded by Philip Wakem’s friendship with Lucy and Stephen; he and Maggie are reintroduced, and Philip’s love for her is rekindled, while Maggie, no longer isolated, enjoys the clandestine attentions of Stephen Guest, putting her past profession of love for Philip in question. Lucy intrigues to throw Philip and Maggie together on a short rowing trip down the Floss, but Stephen unwittingly takes a sick Philip’s place. When Maggie and Stephen find themselves floating down the river, negligent of the distance they have covered, he proposes that they board a passing boat to the next substantial city, Mudport, and get married. Maggie is too tired to argue about it. Stephen takes advantage of her weariness and hails the boat. They are taken on board the boat, and during the trip to Mudport, Maggie struggles between her love for Stephen and her duties to Philip and Lucy, which were established when she was poor, isolated, and dependent on them for what good her life contained. Upon arrival in Mudport she rejects Stephen and makes her way back to St Ogg’s, where she lives for a brief period as an outcast, Stephen having fled to Holland. Although she immediately goes to Tom for forgiveness and shelter, he roughly sends her away, telling her that she will never again be welcome under his roof. Both Lucy and Philip forgive her, in a moving reunion and in an eloquent letter, respectively.

Maggie’s brief exile ends when the river floods. Having struggled through the waters in a boat to find Tom at the old mill, she sets out with him to rescue Lucy Deane and her family. In a brief tender moment, the brother and sister are reconciled from all past differences. When their boat capsizes, the two drown in an embrace, thus giving the book its Biblical epigraph: „In their death they were not divided“.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Lifted Veil

The Lifted Veil – George Eliot

‚The Lifted Veil’ was George Eliot’s trip into the fantastic and horror fiction of the Victorian era. The novella, originally written in 1859, is all about extrasensory perception, the essence of physical life, possible life after death, and the power of fate.

The Lifted Veil

The Lifted Veil

The Lifted Veil.

ISBN: 9783849673819.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

A short biography of George Eliot (from Wikipedia):

Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.

She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works would be taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot’s lifetime, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women’s writing being limited to lighthearted romances. She also wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic. Another factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny, thus avoiding the scandal that would have arisen because of her adulterous relationship with the married George Henry Lewes.

Eliot’s Middlemarch has been described by Martin Amis and Julian Barnes as the greatest novel in the English language.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Adam Bede

Adam Bede – George Eliot

Adam is a young carpenter, who loves Hetty Sorrell, a pretty dairymaid, but finally marries Dinah Morris, a factory girl who becomes a Methodist preacher. Lisbeth Bede and Seth Bede are Adam’s mother and brother. Hetty Sorrell, who is vain and frivolous, is ruined by Arthur Donnithorne, a weak, good-natured young man, whose chief remorse lies in his chagrin at being found out. Another principal character is Mrs. Poyser, a hard-working woman living with her husband on one of Squire Donnithorne’s farms. She makes many shrewd observations that have become proverbial. ‘Adam Bede’ is likely to remain George Eliot’s most popular work. It is a story of which any English author, however great his name, could not fail to have been proud. Everything about it is at once simple and great, and the plot is unfolded with singular simplicity, purity and power.

Adam Bede

Adam Bede

Adam Bede.

ISBN: 9783849673802.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

The characters in Adam Bede (from Wikipedia):

The Bede family:Adam Bede is described as a tall, stalwart, moral, and unusually competent carpenter. He is 26 years old at the beginning of the novel, and bears an „expression of large-hearted intelligence.“
Seth Bede is Adam’s younger brother, and is also a carpenter, but he is not particularly competent, and „…his glance, instead of being keen, is confiding and benign.“
Lisbeth Bede is Adam’s and Seth’s mother. She is „an anxious, spare, yet vigorous old woman, clean as a snowdrop.“
Thias (Matthias) Bede is Adam’s and Seth’s father. He has become an alcoholic, and drowns in Chapter IV while returning from a tavern.
Gyp is Adam’s dog, who follows his every move, and looks „..up in his master’s face with patient expectation.“

The Poyser family:Martin Poyser and his wife Rachel rent Hall Farm from Squire Donnithorne and have turned it into a very successful enterprise.
Marty and Tommy Poyser are their sons.
Totty Poyser is their somewhat spoiled and frequently petulant toddler.
„Old Martin“ Poyser is Mr. Poyser’s elderly father, who lives in retirement with his son’s family.
Hetty Sorrel is Mr. Poyser’s orphaned niece, who lives and works at the Poyser farm. Her beauty, as described by George Eliot, is the sort „which seems made to turn the heads not only of men, but of all intelligent mammals, even of women.“
Dinah Morris is another orphaned niece of the Poysers. She is also beautiful – „It was one of those faces that make one think of white flowers with light touches of colour on their pure petals“ – but has chosen to become an itinerant Methodist preacher, and dresses very plainly.

The Irwine family:Adolphus Irwine is the Rector of Broxton. He is patient and tolerant, and his expression is a „mixture of bonhomie and distinction“. He lives with his mother and sisters.
Mrs. Irwine, his mother, is „…clearly one of those children of royalty who have never doubted their right divine and never met with any one so absurd as to question it.“
Pastor Irwine’s youngest sister, Miss Anne, is an invalid. His gentleness is illustrated by a passage in which he takes the time to remove his boots before going upstairs to visit her, lest she be disturbed by noise. She and the pastor’s other sister Kate are unmarried.

The Donnithorne family:Squire Donnithorne owns an estate.
Arthur Donnithorne, his grandson, stands to inherit the estate; he is twenty years old at the opening of the novel. He is a handsome and charming sportsman.
Miss Lydia Donnithorne, the old squire’s daughter, is Arthur’s unmarried aunt.
Other charactersBartle Massey is the local schoolteacher, a misogynist bachelor who has taught Adam Bede.
Mr. Craig is the gardener at the Donnithorne estate.
Jonathan Burge is Adam’s employer at a carpentry workshop. Some expect his daughter Mary to make a match with Adam Bede.
Villagers in the area include Ben Cranage, Chad Cranage, his daughter Chad’s Bess, and Joshua Rann.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy

George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy – George Willis Cooke

A whole generation, on either side of the Atlantic, used to fall sobbing at the name of Little Nell, which will hardly bring tears to the eyes of any one now, though it is still apparent that the child was imagined with real feelings, and her sad little melodrama was staged with sympathetic skill. When all is said against the lapses of taste and truth, the notion of the young girl wandering up and down the country with her demented grandfather, and meeting good and evil fortune with the same devotion, till death overtakes her, is something that must always touch the heart. It is preposterously overdone, yes, and the author himself falls into pages of hysterical rhythm, which once moved people, when he ought to have been writing plain, straight prose; yet there is in all a sense of the divinity in common and humble lives, which is the most precious quality of literature, as it is almost the rarest, and it is this which moves and consoles. It is this quality in Dickens which Tolstoy prizes and accepts as proof of his great art, and which the true critic must always set above any effect of literary mastery. „The Old Curiosity Shop“ makes strong appeal to a youthful imagination, and contains little that is beyond its scope. Dickens’s sentiment, however it may distress the mature mind of our later day, is not unwholesome, and, at all events in this story, addresses itself naturally enough to feelings unsubdued by criticism. His quality of picturesqueness is here seen at its best, with little or nothing of that melodrama which makes the alloy of „Nicholas Nickleby“ and „Oliver Twist“ —to speak only of the early books.

George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy

George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy

George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy.

ISBN: 9783849673796.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

A short biography of George Eliot (from Wikipedia):

Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.

She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works would be taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot’s lifetime, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women’s writing being limited to lighthearted romances. She also wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic. Another factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny, thus avoiding the scandal that would have arisen because of her adulterous relationship with the married George Henry Lewes.

Eliot’s Middlemarch has been described by Martin Amis and Julian Barnes as the greatest novel in the English language.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Biographies (English), Classics of Fiction (English), Eliot, George | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar