By Avrom Fleishman
It truly is popular that George Eliot's intelligence and her broad wisdom of literature, historical past, philosophy and faith formed her fiction, yet previously no examine has the advance of her pondering via her complete occupation. This 2010 highbrow biography lines the process that improvement from her preliminary Christian tradition, via her lack of religion and dealing out of a humanistic and carefully innovative global view, to the thought-provoking achievements of her novels. It specializes in her responses to her interpreting in her essays, experiences and letters in addition to within the ancient photos of Romola, the political implications of Felix Holt, the great view of English society in Middlemarch, and the visionary account of non-public proposal in Daniel Deronda. This portrait of a massive Victorian highbrow is a crucial addition to our figuring out of Eliot's brain and works, in addition to of her position in nineteenth-century British tradition.
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Additional info for George Eliot's Intellectual Life
Pp. ) If any element of Eliot’s early reading has relevance for her later mental formation, it is this idea as carried forward by Comte, for here the source of women’s civilizing inﬂuence is located in their renunciation of self – even to the employment of the phrase, “vivre pour autrui” – to live for others. But Aimé-Martin’s foundation remains within Christianity, as the only system that associates happiness with self-renunciation, so that women can exercise their mission only when imbued with the Christian spirit.
The idea as well as the phrasing of a “nostrum for all mankind” does, however, echo Carlyle in its contemptuous tone. 10 Mary Sibree’s intuition that Eliot had “rather changed her mind on some points” is accurate not only regarding the Romantic overtones it had taken on but with respect to her family experiences. The letter quoted above goes on to describe the baleful results of a hypothetical apostate’s futile eﬀorts to explain his changed beliefs: “He cannot make his reasons intelligible, and so his conduct is regarded as a relaxation of the hold that moral ties had on him previously.
Having been raised in the Jewish tradition, the author was well equipped to bring Old Testament passages into juxtaposition with the Gospels, thus breaking ground for the demythologizing readings of later commentators. But the work goes beyond demystiﬁcation of the Old Testament and, more glancingly, of the New, to construct – some would say, to deconstruct – a theory of religion generally. And this relatively brief text closes by drawing the implications of its theory for political policy regarding religious diversity.