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The Real George Eliot (Kindle)

P&S History Social History Victorian Era 19th Century

By Lisa Tippings
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 26.1 MB (.mobi)
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9781526754561
eBook Released: 4th June 2021

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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.

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.
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.

NetGalley, Tiffany Thompson

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 stars

George Eliot is fascinating, incredibly talented, and an inventive thinker and writer. I learned a lot from this biography and highly recommend it!

NetGalley, Jessica Murdock

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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.

NetGalley, Brenda Carleton

About Lisa Tippings

Lisa Tippings is a freelance writer living in Swansea. Born in the South Wales valleys, she grew up with her parents and twin sister in a terrace house overlooking the Welsh hills. Sunday nights were spent watching costume dramas on television, and these in turn inspired a love of nineteenth century literature - Eliot, Bronte and Dickens being the novelists she was particularly drawn to. A career in English teaching followed, before she took the plunge and decided to dedicate herself to writing full time.


Having written a book about the suffrage movement in Wales, and a history of the city of Swansea, The Life Of George Eliot is Lisa’s third book.


When she is not writing, Lisa can often be found exploring the museums and galleries of Wales, indulging in her love of book shopping or curled up in her favourite arm chair with a good book on her lap and a cup of tea in her hand.

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