By F. B. Pinion
This severe survey of George Eliot's works features a biographical advent and a quick account of the old occasions that performed a component in her fiction. a number of quotations from her letters make sure that the main invaluable points of Eliot's idea are thoroughly conveyed. An appendix dwells on Eliot's impact on Thomas Hardy.
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Additional resources for A George Eliot Companion: Literary Achievement and Modern Significance
47). Disraeli made her impatient: 'The man hath good veins, as Bacon would say, but there is not enough blood in them', she wrote of Sybil; Tancred seemed very 'thin'. 48); however 'diabolical' the law by which its central conflict is resolved to satisfy the demands of Victorian morality, there is a nobility in the heroine's 'self-sacrifice' to which the more mature George Eliot would not have remained blind. Mary Ann described a comment she made on 'a glorious production' of Mendelssohn's Elijah in Exeter Hall, the composer himself conducting, as the kind of impiety that could be expected of a lady who, to use the impertinent expression of Disraeli, had been guanoing her mind with French novels.
Lewes and George Eliot indulged the pathetic infatuation of this hypersensitive and importunate intellectual, whose climactic reward came when her 'darling', after expressing her preference for men and telling her she was silly, complied with her request for a kiss. The Leweses had bought a fashionable carriage in 1873, and one of Edmund Gosse's memories was of a strange pair in their victoria as he walked towards Whitehall from north-west London in 1876 and later. Although clearly unsympathetic, written for effect, and misleading at one point (Marian was not large in person), the impression he gives has vivid pictorial features which are based on genuine recollection: The man, prematurely ageing, was hirsute, rugged, satyr-like, gazing vivaciously to left and right; this was George Henry Lewes.
The writing of "Romola" ploughed into her more than any of her other books ... marking a well-defined transition in her life. "' 36 A George Eliot Companion * * * Almost immediately she and George set off for the Isle of Wight, where they had a delightful holiday; with Charles at home, they were not yet free to travel abroad. She read Renan's Vie de jesus with admiration, so 'eminently tender and reverent' did she find him 'towards the forms in which the religious sentiment has incarnated itself'.
A George Eliot Companion: Literary Achievement and Modern Significance by F. B. Pinion