Middlemarch

Middlemarch

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

George Eliot's Victorian masterpiece: a magnificent portrait of a provincial town and its inhabitantsGeorge Eliot’s novel, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, explores a fictional nineteenth-century Midlands town in the midst of modern changes. The proposed Reform Bill promises political change; the building of railroads alters both the physical and cultural landscape; new scientific approaches to medicine incite public division; and scandal lurks behind respectability. The quiet drama of ordinary lives and flawed choices are played out in the complexly portrayed central characters of the novel—the idealistic Dorothea Brooke; the ambitious Dr. Lydgate; the spendthrift Fred Vincy; and the steadfast Mary Garth. The appearance of two outsiders further disrupts the town’s equilibrium—Will Ladislaw, the spirited nephew of Dorothea’s husband, the Rev. Edward Casaubon, and the sinister John Raffles, who threatens to expose the hidden past of one of the town’s elite. Middlemarch displays George Eliot’s clear-eyed yet humane understanding of characters caught up in the mysterious unfolding of self-knowledge. This Penguin Classics edition uses the second edition of 1874 and features an introduction and notes by Eliot-biographer Rosemary Ashton. In her introduction, Ashton discusses themes of social change in Middlemarch, and examines the novel as an imaginative embodiment of Eliot's humanist beliefs.For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

This Eliot novel tells the story of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, a pair of siblings who grow up together on a river in early nineteenth century England. While Tom’s reserved nature and Maggie’s idealism produce differences that strain their love in times of hardship, the two ultimately reconcile when confronted with certain death. A powerful work on individual tenacity in the face of oppressive circumstance, The Mill on the Floss remains one of Eliot’s most powerful works on unconditional solidarity and love.
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Adam Bede

Adam Bede

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

With an Introduction and Notes by Doreen Roberts University of Kent at Canterbury 'Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your immediate feelings...' Adam Bede (1859), George Eliot's first full-length novel, marked the emergence of an artist to rank with Scott and Dickens. Set in the English Midlands of farmers and village craftsmen at the turn of the eighteenth century, the book relates a story of seduction issuing in 'the inward suffering which is the worst form of Nemesis'. But it is also a rich and pioneering record - drawing on intimate knowledge and affectionate memory - of a rural world that we have lost. The movement of the narration between social realism and reflection on its own processes, the exploration of motives, and the constant authorial presence all bespeak an art that strives to connect the fictional with the actual.
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Brother Jacob

Brother Jacob

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

First published in Blackwood's Magazine in 1859, The Lifted Veil is now one of George Eliot's most widely read and critically discussed short stories. A dark fantasy drawing on contemporary scientific interest in the physiology of the brain, mesmerism, phrenology, and experiments in revification, it is Eliot's anatomy of her own moral philosophy. Narrated by an egocentric, morbid young clairvoyant man, the story also explores fiction's ability to offer insight into the self, as well as being a remarkable portrait of an artist whose visionary powers merely blight his life. Published as a companion piece to The Lifted Veil, Brother Jacob is by contrast Eliot's literary homage to Thackeray, a satirical modern fable that draws telling parallels between eating and reading. With an illuminating introduction by Helen Small, this Oxford World's Classics edition makes newly available two fascinating short stories which fully deserve to be read alongside Eliot's novels.
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Mr Gilfil's Love Story

Mr Gilfil's Love Story

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

Caterina Sarti is the orphaned daughter of an Italian music master who has been brought up by the aristocratic Cheverel family. In love with the Cheverel heir, Anthony Wybrow, her hopes of marrying him are frustrated by the discovery that not only has Anthony merely been playing with her affections, but his family will never accept her as their equal. Mr. Gilfil, the faithful vicar, rescues Caterina from her despair, but not before she has been irrevocably damaged by her unkind treatment. A masterly evocation of tragic love, Mr. Gilfil's Love Story also reflects George Eliot's deep ambivalence towards the upper classes. "Elegant and expressive…this is the most original work of fiction George Eliot ever wrote." (David Lodge). Born Mary Ann Evans, Victorian novelist George Eliot (1819–1880) is the author of a number of remarkable works, including the masterpiece Middlemarch.
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Tom and Maggie Tulliver

Tom and Maggie Tulliver

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

“What I want, you know,” said Mr. Tulliver of Dorlcote Mill-”what I want is to give Tom a good eddication. That was what I was thinking of when I gave notice for him to leave th’ academy at Lady Day. I meant to put him to a downright good school at Midsummer. “The two years at th’ academy ‘ud ha’ done well enough,” the miller went on, “if I’d meant to make a miller and farmer of him like myself. But I should like Tom to be a bit of a scholard, so as he might be up to the tricks o’ these fellows as talk fine and write with a flourish. It ‘ud be a help to me wi’ these lawsuits and things.”
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The Lifted Veil

The Lifted Veil

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

Horror was my familiar. Published the same year as her first novel, Adam Bede, this overlooked work displays the gifts for which George Eliot would become famous—gritty realism, psychological insight, and idealistic moralizing. It is unique from all her other writing, however, in that it represents the only time she ever used a first-person narrator, and it is the only time she wrote about the supernatural. The tale of a man who is incapacitated by visions of the future and the cacophony of overheard thoughts, and yet who can’t help trying to subvert his vividly glimpsed destiny, it is easy to read The Lifted Veil as being autobiographically revealing—of Eliot’s sensitivity to public opinion and her awareness that her days concealed behind a pseudonym were doomed to a tragic unveiling (as indeed came to pass soon after this novella’s publication). But it is easier still to read the story as the exciting and genuine precursor of a moody new form, as well as an absorbing early masterpiece of suspense. **The Art of The Novella Series **Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
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  • 449
Romola

Romola

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

One of George Eliot\'s most ambitious and imaginative novels, Romola is set in Renaissance Florence during the turbulent years following the expulsion of the powerful Medici family during which the zealous religious reformer Savonarola rose to control the city. At its heart is Romola, the devoted daughter of a blind scholar, married to the clever but ultimately treacherous Tito whose duplicity in both love and politics threatens to destroy everything she values, and she must break away to find her own path in life. Described by Eliot as \'written with my best blood\', the story of Romola\'s intellectual and spiritual awakening is a compelling portrayal of a Utopian heroine, played out against a turbulent historical backdrop.
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Scenes of Clerical Life

Scenes of Clerical Life

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

My only merit must lie in the faithfulness with which I represent to you the humble experience of an ordinary fellow-mortal. When Scenes of Clerical Life, George Eliot's first novel, was published anonymously in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine in 1857, it was immediately recognized, in the words of Saturday Review, as ‘the production of a peculiar and remarkable writer'. The first readers, including Dickens and Thackeray, were struck by its humorous irony, the truthfulness of its presentation of the lives of ordinary men and women, and its compassionate acceptance of human weakness. The three stories that make up the Scenes, ‘The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton', ‘Mr Gilfil's Love Story', and ‘Janet's Repentance', foreshadow George Eliot's major work, and their success gave her the confidence to become one of the greatest English novelists.
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Daniel Deronda

Daniel Deronda

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

George Eliot’s final novel and her most ambitious work, Daniel Deronda contrasts the moral laxity of the British aristocracy with the dedicated fervor of Jewish nationalists. Crushed by a loveless marriage to the cruel and arrogant Grandcourt, Gwendolen Harleth seeks salvation in the deeply spiritual and altruistic Daniel Deronda. But Deronda, profoundly affected by the discovery of his Jewish ancestry, is ultimately too committed to his own cultural awakening to save Gwendolen from despair. This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the 1878 Cabinet Edition.
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Felix Holt

Felix Holt

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

When the young nobleman Harold Transome returns to England from the colonies with a self-made fortune, he scandalizes the town of Treby Magna with his decision to stand for Parliament as a Radical. But after the idealistic Felix Holt also returns to the town, the difference between Harold's opportunistic values and Holt's profound beliefs becomes apparent. Forthright, brusque and driven by a firm desire to educate the working-class, Felix is at first viewed with suspicion by many, including the elegant but vain Esther Lyon, the daughter of the local clergyman. As she discovers, however, his blunt words conceal both passion and deep integrity. Soon the romantic and over-refined Esther finds herself overwhelmed by a heart-wrenching decision: whether to choose the wealthy Transome as a husband, or the impoverished but honest Felix Holt.
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