The Real George Eliot (Hardback)
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The Real George Eliot revisits the life of the ground breaking nineteenth century novelist and focuses on the impact she had on her readers, including the biographer herself.
Eliot was a writer who explored the nature of religion, the role of marriage in society, and the struggle that could emerge between a person’s public and private persona.
Her own private life was the cause of much speculation and notoriety. Eliot chose to ignore most of the conventions of Victorian society in order to pursue her own happiness, and her relationship with George Henry Lewes scandalised many members of ‘polite’ society. Regardless of this, however, she overcame such prejudice and in later life enjoyed the company of some of the greatest thinkers and academics of the time, and this is a testament to her formidable intelligence. The fact that she is still so widely read today, is a sign of the longevity of her skills as a writer.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The book will appeal to those who enjoy reading Victorian novels and those who have an interest in the culture and mores of Victorian England.Alison Wall, Local history/ nursing and public health groups
This book is brilliantly written and very well researched.NetGalley, Rebecca B
Lisa Tippings's The Real George Eliot reveals a woman who was prepared to defy contemporary conventions in her pursuit of success and personal happiness. Excellent addition to this terrific series.Books Monthly
Admission: I didn't "get" why Middlemarch was considered such a classic back in 1974 when I read it for a "Women in Literature" seminar in college. I knew one had to read Eliot and I found the little I knew about her interesting. I'm sure I read an article about Eliot to supplement the novel. But I found it hard going. At some point, I read Silas Marner and found that more to my liking, but I would not say I was a fan of Eliot's writing, so much as a fan of Eliot the person. So, I was drawn to this recent biography and was pleased that it was an engaging read, portraying Eliot from many perspectives, including her letters, her journals, the social context of her life as a woman of intellect in the 19th Century, and of course, her body of work. Tippings organized the parts/chapters of the book into subsections, making it an enjoyable, cohesive read. It is particularly interesting to me that Eliot persisted through periods of obvious depression and serious physical debilitation such as migraine, to engage with others in deep friendships, to travel, to earn a living as an editor, translator, and article writer before turning to novels later in life and to live a highly unconventional life with a married man who was unable to procure a divorce. I enjoyed in particular the integration of pieces of her work into the reflections on her life. I also appreciated Tippings' balanced evaluation of Eliot. Yes, she was a nonconformist in her lifestyle, but she was also a woman of her time. Thus, her work and her life reflect many accepted norms of the Victorian era yet makes one think about why people defy those norms. Her novels ask us to reflect more and perhaps to judge less. Somewhere, my copy of Middlemarch sits on a shelf at home. Tippings, and her subject, inspire me to give it another go. Well done. Read this book.NetGalley, Emily Leader
Well researched. Tippings's work is easy to follow, engaging, and surprisingly, packed with information that I did not know.NetGalley, Tiffany Thompson
Far from being dry like some bios can be, I think this work is one that is not just for those interested in the time period, or the author, but anyone interested in interesting females and wanting to gain and expand their general knowledge.
An interesting account of a life which hit the right balance between providing facts and making the book a story.NetGalley, Louise Gray
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Jessica Murdock
George Eliot is fascinating, incredibly talented, and an inventive thinker and writer. I learned a lot from this biography and highly recommend it!
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Brenda Carleton
This book is breathtaking in its information. The photographs are a lovely addition and allowed me to re-live my travels to the area. Those passionate about George Eliot absolutely must read this book and for those who wish to learn more about her and the era in general definitely ought to as well.