A George Eliot Companion: Literary Achievement and Modern by F. B. Pinion

By F. B. Pinion

This severe survey of George Eliot's works incorporates a biographical advent and a short account of the old occasions that performed an element in her fiction. various quotations from her letters make sure that the main priceless features of Eliot's inspiration are appropriately conveyed. An appendix dwells on Eliot's effect on Thomas Hardy.

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One of the most friendly of the many people who welcomed them was Liszt. For the first time in her life, Marian saw real inspiration as she watched him play one of his own compositions; he had that laideur divinisee which was her 'favourite kind of physique'. She was very happy, and soon recovered her energy and zest for knowledge. Her reading then, and for months to come, was assiduous, mainly in German literature and Shakespeare. In Berlin she helped Lewes by translating much from the German for the biography of Goethe which he was completing; her own principal work was the translation of Spinoza's Ethics, which she had almost finished when they returned to England in March 1855.

On Christmas Day, Marian read him the third act of her drama, and he praised it highly. So depressed did she become over its resolution, he took her to Paris for ten days, but its continuation made her so ill he was compelled to remove the work. Five weeks later, near the end of March 1865, she began Felix Holt. Charles had married Gertrude, sister of Octavia Hill; and George was busy again, as adviser to George Smith on The Pall Mall Gazette (a lucrative position for more than a year) and as editor of The Fortnightly Review, a new periodical, the management of which restored his annual £600.

On 22 October Marian began A dam Be de, but her reading was not discontinued. 'There is so much to read and the days are so short! I get more hungry for knowledge every day, and less able to satisfy my hunger', she wrote in December. John Blackwood's brother, Major William, called, and was soon in no doubt about the identity of George Eliot. On the last day of 1857 she wrote in her journal: My life has deepened unspeakably during the last year: I feel a greater capacity for moral and intellectual enjoyment; a more acute sense of my deficiencies in the past; a more solemn desire George Eliot's Life 29 to be faithful to coming duties than I remember at any former period of my life.

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