First published in 1998, this volume proposes to shift the critical emphasis from a canonical author to her uncanonical text – from George Eliot to her novel Romola – and contends that this choice both broadens the range of interpretive possibilities and brings them into sharper focus.
The editors invited a variety of critics to put their different critical models to work on Romola and the results are fertile and suggestive: among the issues explored here are the domestic politics of marriage, the relationship between narrative and epistemology, the materiality of the text, the novel’s relation to nineteenth-century narratives of martyrdom, and the gendering of space. Such theoretical eclecticism, when focused on a common reference point, necessarily opens out into a dialogue among critical and interpretive models. Theory throws light onto Romola, just as Romola throws light onto theory.
Table of Contents
Part I. Rethinking the Text. 1. George Eliot v. Frederic Leighton: Whose Text is it Anyway? Mark W. Turner. 2. The Texts of Romola. Andrew Brown. Part II. Rethinking the Heroine. 3. Mapping Romola: Physical Space, Women’s Place. Shona Elizabeth Simpson. 4. ‘Telling the Whole’: Trauma, Drifting and Reconciliation in Romola. Julian Corner. 5. From Romola to Romola: The Complex Act of Naming. Susan M. Bernardo. Part III. Rethinking Authority. 6. George Eliot Martyrologist: The Case of Savanarola. David Carroll. 7. Power and Persuasion: Voices of Influence in Romola. Beryl Gray. 8. The Prophetic Fallacy: Realism, Foreshadowing and Narrative Knowledge in Romola. Caroline Levine. 9. ‘An Imperceptible Start’: The Sight of Humanity in Romola. Chris Greenwood. 10. Angels and Archangels: Romola and the Paintings of Florence. Leonee Ormond.