Prodigiously learned, alive to the massive social changes of her time, defiant of many Victorian orthodoxies, George Eliot has always challenged her readers. She is at once chronicler and analyst, novelist of nostalgia and monumental thinker. In her great novel Middlemarch she writes of 'that tempting range of relevancies called the universe'. This volume identifies a range of 'relevancies' that inform both her fictional and her non-fictional writings. The range and scale of her achievement are brought into focus by cogent essays on the many contexts - historical, intellectual, political, social, cultural - to her work. In addition there are discussions of her critical history and legacy, as well as of the material conditions of production and distribution of her novels and her journalism. The volume enables fuller understanding and appreciation, from a twenty-first-century standpoint, of the life and work of one of the nineteenth century's major writers.
Table of Contents
Preface; Chronology Margaret Harris; Part I. Life and Afterlife: 1. George Eliot's life Kathryn Hughes; 2. Publishers and publication Joanne Shattock; 3. Editions of George Eliot's work Joanne Shattock; 4. Genre Nancy Henry; 5. The biographical tradition Margaret Harris; 6. Afterlife Margaret Harris; Part II. Critical Fortunes: 7. Critical responses: to 1900 Juliette Atkinson; 8. Critical responses: 1900–70 Juliette Atkinson; 9. Critical responses: 1970–present Juliette Atkinson; Part III. Cultural and Social Contexts: 10. Class Ruth Livesey; 11. Dress Clair Hughes; 12. Education Elizabeth Gargano; 13. Etiquette Judith Flanders; 14. Families and kinship Josie Billington; 15. Gender and the woman question Kyriaki Hadjiafxendi; 16. Historiography Joanne Wilkes; 17. Industry and technology Richard Menke; 18. Interiors Judith Flanders; 19. Landscape John Rignall; 20. Language Melissa Raines; 21. Law Kieran Dolin; 22. Metropolitanism John Rignall; 23. Money Dermot Coleman; 24. Music Delia Da Sousa; 25. Philosophy Moira Gatens; 26. Politics Robert Dingley; 27. Race Alicia Carroll; 28. Religion Oliver Lovesey; 29. Romanticism Joanne Wilkes; 30. Rural life Carol Martin; 31. The science of the mind Pauline Nestor; 32. Secularism Michael Rectenwald; 33. Theatre Lynn Voskuil; 34. Transport Ruth Livesey; 35. Travel and tourism Judith Johnston; 36. Visual arts Leonée Ormond; Further reading; Index.