Skip to main content

George Eliot Wrote Rather Long Books

The many phases of George Eliot. First you think 'Oh, a dude.' But no. Then 'Wait, which is George Eliot and which is George Sand? And why was 'George' the preferred pseudonym for mid-19th c. ladies?' And then 'Middlemarch is SO LONG OMG' and then 'Middlemarch is SO AWESOME OMG.' Then 'Wow, that was not an attractive woman.' THEN, 'I shall now be reading all her books.'

I grant that this might not be the order for everyone. And I still have The Lifted Veil and Daniel Deronda, but I have read EVERYTHING ELSE she wrote. Which I will now be discussing.

Middlemarch - I read Middlemarch when I was 19 and got very, very into it. Its heroine, Dorothea Brooke, is my favorite literary heroine. Marian Halcombe now is a close second, but Dorothea is basically me at a very very conservative Christian age 19. 'Oh, I like horseback riding? Maybe I should give that up for God then...' And wanting to marry a great man in order to help him with his work? Yeah. THAT WAS A THING I WANTED TO DO. And Middlemarch is all "Yeeeeeah, no. Don't do that." Plus the characters are basically all complex and amazing and it should just be read.

Adam Bede - George Eliot is very, very into Masculine Men of the Land, with clear brows and penetrating eyes and big hands who make things. So that's kind of what Adam Bede's all about. Oh, and good people making bad decisions with far-reaching consequences. Also Methodists.

Scenes of Clerical Life - I love this book's face off. It was the first thing she published. It consists of three short stories, and they are all awesome and adorable. I bought a 1907 edition when I went to NYC this year, which is a thing I've been looking for for SEVEN YEARS. It was a good moment.

Me: "I GOT A 1907 TWO VOLUME EDITION OF GEORGE ELIOT'S SCENES OF CLERICAL LIFE."
My mom: "Well. I'm sure that was about to be snatched up."

The Mill on the Floss - I loved Mill on the Floss until the last third, where it started SUCKING.

Felix Holt the Radical - I have a theory about this book (which is about the Reform Act of 1832 -- THRILLING STUFF). And that theory is that Eliot saw the misogynistic shitstorm that was Our Mutual Friend and went 'Oh no no no, I will do this but do it right.' And from that came Felix and Esther and general awesomeness.

Romola - Ugh. Yeah. This book. No.

One thing I find hilarious about George Eliot is that she wrote a lot about the country, and people praised this, but her brother was like "No no -- do not be fooled. When we lived on the farm, she did nothing. There was no charming milking-the-cows scene. She just sat around." Brothers.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier: DID SHE OR DIDN'T SHE

Daphne Du Maurier's 1951 My Cousin Rachel prompts the age-old question: what if you were a young dumb dumb with an estate in Cornwall who is convinced your charming, thoughtful, and recently-widowed cousin Rachel wants to abandon her native Italy forever and live with you, your dogs, and your elderly butler in a damp house by the sea. AFTER ALL WHO WOULDN'T.

Also she's a widow because she'd married your uncle who raised you who then recently died, so also this has just become the MOST oedipal and makes everyone feel gross thinking about it.




Said dumb dumb is Philip Ashley, who is 24 and aptly referred to in the recent film version as a "glorious puppy." He is so excited about some things. And so sulky about so many other things. He's our narrator, which here means he is our misogynistic, xenophobic lens through which to view all events. His uncle died in Italy soon after marrying Rachel. Said uncle suspected he was being poisoned. He also probably had a bra…