1. Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

George Eliot

Discussion in 'Author Discussion' started by Christheblogger, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Christheblogger

    Christheblogger New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    ... let's say... Romola - George Eliot.
    She is definitely my favourite Victorian author and is certainly close to the top of my list of favourite authors ever. I have previously read Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda and Mill on the Floss, all of them excellent. I've just started reading Romola.

    Middlemarch is one of the best books I've ever read. The characters in it are expertly realised, and the relationships wonderfully handled. The plot is never forced or unbelievable like it can get sometimes in Charles Dickens novels (Oliver Twist, I'm looking at you) and her attention to detail is meticulous and astounding. A very believable world populated with very believable people. Virginia Woolf apparent called it "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people" and, while not really wanting to echo her indictment on lots of other English novels, I totally agree.

    Some friends I've spoken to complain that it (and all Eliot) is too long, and I can understand them, 900 pages is a lot. But my philosophy is it's sort of impossible for George Eliot to be guilty of writing too many words. Middlemarch was one of those rare books that made me sad when I finished because I no longer had the privilege of reading it. The only other book I can think of at the moment (no doubt there are others) longer than 500 pages that had this effect on me is Midnight's Children.

    Daniel Deronda had some wonderful moments too, mostly from the story that wasn't about the titular character. But, anyway, it was certainly refreshing to find a Victorian, Anglo author that isn't explicitly Antisemitic (Oliver Twist, again, I'm looking at you).

    How do people feel about George Eliot and her books?

    What is Romola like? I've heard it's very difficult.
     
  2. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    107
    Currently Reading:
    Alex Pheby, Lucia
    I've tried to read The Mill on the Floss last week but I just can't get through it. The writing is rather tedious and slow, many many pages are dedicated to dinner-table conversations, and so on.
    I just couldn't get into it.

    Having said that, I do think the events surrounding George Eliot as a person and the writing of the novel and such are quite interesting especially when we discussed it during the literature tutorial.
     
  3. Christheblogger

    Christheblogger New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    ... let's say... Romola - George Eliot.
    I remember thinking that with the beginning of Mill on the Floss, too. Because the characters are children it had difficulty keeping my attention. But, you know, they grow up. I also have serious issues with the ending of Mill on the Floss, which I won't discuss in case you ever make it there.

    Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda are less tedious from the get go, but still pretty slow. They were written by George Eliot, after all. Still, I really love Middlemarch.

    I've not read Silas Marner, but it's about 100 pages so it's probably not as slow as her other stuff. For the very adventurous she also once wrote some weird science-fiction story about a telepath. I think it will be the very last George Eliot thing I ever read.

    I agree that George Eliot the person was very interesting. I've never read a proper biography, just read things here and there, in the introductions to her books, and on Wikipedia, and so on. Here is a link to the Virginia Woolf Essay where she makes her bold claim about Middlemarch, it's very interesting too.
     
  4. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    107
    Currently Reading:
    Alex Pheby, Lucia
    Maybe I'll appreciate it later on. But with my rather hectic reading schedule I can't really enjoy a book, I have to rush through it, especially when it's as long as this one.

    I haven't read any of her other books.

    Well we had a two-hour discussion about her life and about the book. I just finished typing my notes, if you want them I can send them to you.
     
  5. Christheblogger

    Christheblogger New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    ... let's say... Romola - George Eliot.
    That's OK. Mill on the Floss really grew on me after I finished it, and it's far from her best work.

    I've always found she is an author who takes a lot of effort. I just started Romola and, not only am I dealing with the denseness of her writing style, but she is making all these references to 15th century Florentine politics as if the reader of course knows all about it already. She also helpfully has at least 1 untranslated Italian word per paragraph. I think it's as pretentious as an author was allowed to get away with before James Joyce invented Ulysses (and then Finnegans Wake, if indeed he got away with Finnegans Wake).

    Yeah, George Eliot, you're really clever and well read and fantastic, etc. We get it.

    Sure, I'd be interested in the typed notes. Thanks :)

    Do you need my email address or is that on my public profile or something? Or can you attach them to these threads? I'm new here (to the internet).

    What else, apart from the Alice books, are you studying in the course you're doing?
     
  6. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    107
    Currently Reading:
    Alex Pheby, Lucia
    I'm still unsure as to why they put this novel on the reading list and not one of the others which I think are better known.

    Just PM me your email address. Beware though, it's about 4 pages.

    This semester's reading:
    Jane Austen, Persuasion
    Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus
    George Gordon, Lord Byron, extracts from Don Juan and from Letters.
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ‘Christabel’
    John Keats, ‘The Eve of Saint Agnes’, ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’;
    Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ‘Mariana’, ‘The Lady of Shalott’, ‘The Passing of Arthur’.
    Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
    Matthew Arnold, ‘The Buried Life’, ‘Lines Written in Kensington Gardens’, ‘The Scholar Gypsy’, ‘Dover Beach’’, ‘Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse’;
    Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘As Kingfishers Catch Fire’, ‘Spring’, ‘The Windhover’, ‘Pied Beauty’, ‘No Worst, There is None’, ‘I Wake and Feel the Fell of Night, Not Day’, ‘Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord’.
    Charles Dickens, Great Expectations;
    Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass;
    George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss;
    Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde;
    Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest;
    Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure

    I get about a week to read each book or series of poems so especially with the books it's more about having it finished on time than it is about enjoying them.
     
  7. nickupton

    nickupton Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read Silas Marner and really enjoyed it - I would read it again.

    The next George Eliot novel I read was Adam Bede which I thought was really good too.

    Next I went with The Mill on the Floss, which bored me and I didn't finish it.
     

Share This Page