By Margaret Harris
George Eliot has regularly challenged her readers. Prodigiously realized, alive to the large social alterations of her time, defiant of many Victorian orthodoxies, she is immediately chronicler and analyst, novelist of nostalgia and huge philosopher. In her nice novel Middlemarch she writes of 'that tempting variety of relevancies referred to as the universe'. This quantity identifies a number of 'relevancies' that shape many of the contexts - of her time, and of our personal - pertinent to figuring out and within the fullest feel appreciating George Eliot. the scale of her fulfillment are illuminated through cogent essays on specific points of the various contexts - old, highbrow, political, social, cultural - that tell her paintings. additionally there are discussions of her severe background and legacy, in addition to of the fabric stipulations of construction and distribution of her paintings. here's George Eliot within the twenty-first century.
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Extra resources for George Eliot in Context
The Spanish Gypsy by George Eliot (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2008). ), Impressions of Theophrastus Such (University of Iowa Press, 1994). Haight (1968) refers to Gordon S. Haight, George Eliot: A Biography (Oxford University Press, 1968). Pa rt i Life and afterlife ch apter 1 George Eliot’s life Kathryn Hughes George Eliot was born Mary Anne Evans on 22 November 1819, although her name changed many times in the course of her sixty-one-year life. Christened ‘Mary Anne’, she dropped the final ‘e’ during her pious adolescence, perhaps bothered by its suggestion of a French, that is Catholic, resonance.
There was no doubt in the Evans family’s collective mind as to who was to blame for this reckless reversal in Mary Ann’s religious beliefs. Shortly after arriving in Coventry she had been introduced to near-neighbours Charles and Cara Bray. Charles was a ribbon manufacturer and newspaper proprietor who held progressive views on everything from education to marriage while Cara was an intellectually independent woman raised in the Unitarian church. Through the influence of this charismatic pair, amplified by Cara’s elder sister Sara Hennell, Mary Ann had started to read some of the new ‘Higher Criticism’ which threw doubt on the literal truth of the Bible, in particular the supernatural elements in the New Testament’s account of the life of Christ.
Monthly magazines like Macmillan’s Magazine and the Cornhill, established in 1859 and 1860, were upmarket challengers to older publications such as Blackwood’s, selling for a shilling as opposed to two shillings and sixpence, and in the case of the Cornhill offering single-column pages and illustrations by eminent artists. Blackwood’s strategy was to issue the expensive three-volume edition at the conclusion of the magazine serial, followed at a carefully judged interval by a two-volume reprint retailing for twelve shillings, and after another interval by a one-volume edition selling for six shillings.