This book is based on a conference held in Warwick in July 1995. It is a collection of essays which explore various aspects of George Eliot's relation to the literature and culture of Continental Europe. The essays range widely over the novelist's life and work, examining her Journals and Impressions of Theophratus Such as well as her novels, and focusing on different countries and cultures, including not only France, Germany and Italy, but also Holland and Spain. Some essays examine the complex general issues of language and culture raised in her work, while others concentrate on her response to specific European writers and texts. There are investigations of intertextualities and possibilities of influence, as well as contextual discussions and comparative readings of her novels alongside works by European writers. The overall effect is to illuminate her writing by setting it in the wider European context which, with her knowledge of languages, her travels and her extraordinary wide reading, she knew so well.
’Unravelling the complexity of Eliot’s engagement with European culture is the primary intention of this volume and it is what makes this collection so worthwhile for Eliot scholars and readers.’ George Eliot Review
Contents: Introduction; What George Eliot saw in Europe: the evidence of her journals, Margaret Harris; Cultural synthesis in George Eliot's Middlemarch, Hans Ulrich Seeber; George Eliot and the world as language, Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth; George Eliot, George Henry Lewes, and comparative anatomy, Nancy Henry; The miserable marriages in Middlemarch, Anna Karenina, and Effi Briest, Barbara Hardy; Mr Dagley's midnight darkness: uncovering the German connection in George Eliot's fiction, Nancy Cervetti; George Eliot and the Germanic ’musical magnus’, Delia da Sousa Correa; Daniel Deronda and allegories of empire, Derek Miller; ’The interest of Spanish sights’: from Ronda to Daniel Deronda, Bonnie McMullen; ’Animated nature’: The Mill on the Floss, Beryl Gray; From reality to fiction: benefits and hazards in continental education, Linda K Robertson; Renaissance and risorgimento in Romola, Tom Winnifrith; Greek scholarship and renaissance Florence in George Eliot's Romola, Lesley Gordon; ’Too intensely French for my taste’: Victor Hugo as read by George Eliot and George Henry Lewes, Shoshana Milgram Knapp; George Eliot, Balzac and Proust, John Rignall; Playing with shawls: George Eliot's use of Corinne in The Mill on the Floss, Gill Frith; Index.