[[ Free Textbooks ]] George Eliot in Love Author Brenda Maddox – Freepe.co

George Eliot Is One Of The Most Celebrated Novelists In History Her Books, Including Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, And Adam Bede, Are As Appreciated Now As They Were In The Nineteenth Century Yet Her Nonconformist And Captivating Personal Life A Compelling Story In Itself Is Not Well Known Ridiculed As An Ugly Duckling, Eliot Violated Strict Social Codes By Living With A Married Man For Most Of Her Adult Life Soon After He Died, She Married A Much Younger Man Who Attempted Suicide During Their Honeymoon The Obstacles Eliot Overcame In Her Life Informed Her Work And Have Made Her Legacy An Enduring One Brenda Maddox Brings Her Lively Style To Bear On The Intersection Of Eliot S Life And Novels She Delves Into The Human Side Of This Larger Than Life Figure, Revealing The Pleasure And Pain Behind The Intellectual S Public Face The Result Is A Deeply Personal Biography That Sheds New Light On A Woman Who Lived Life On Her Own Terms And Altered The Literary Landscape In The Process


10 thoughts on “George Eliot in Love

  1. says:

    A full length review is coming since I received this via BookPleasures.com but a few words until then this book is sympathetic, well researched, and paints a clear picture of the woman who brought us great some would say THE greatest Victorian novels She was so insecure that without being encouraged by the love of her life, George Lewes, there might have been no Middlemarch, arguably one of the greatest novels of that century She was poor in health but rich in love by middle age anyway and book royalties Drum roll please Here is the official BookPleasures review In this sympathetic biography of the celebrated 19th century novelist, George Eliot Mary Anne Evans , Brenda Maddox clearly presents the author and the creation of her books, some of English literature s most unforgettable.Beginning with her childhood her rejection by her mother and acceptance by her father Maddox shows how Evans adopted a fervent Evangelicalism as a young only to lose it when befriended by some freethinking some of them rather promiscuous individuals Promiscuity among 19th century atheistic intellectuals was evidently a reaction to the strict social and religious norms of the day but this opportunity for sexual freedom doesn t seem to have affected the unattractive Evans in any way but to increase her insecurity she was yearning for love.She finally found it when she took up a permanent, live in relationship with George Lewes who was technically married to a woman who was, in turn, living with another man Lewes provided Evans with emotional security and a profound friendship that became a guiding light for her writing career Lewes suggested that Evans a talented and successful journalist begin to write fiction.Lewes, as Maddox shows, was not only was the creative impetus for the great Victorian novelist but he also served as her emotional support and protector For instance, Evans was terrified of reading any reviews of her own work and so Lewes constantly prevented her from seeing any Even after becoming a wild success, gaining a measure of social acceptance in Victorian England Evans and Lewes never officially married , and gaining reams of adoring fans, Evans still had difficulty believing in herself as a writer and couldn t begin or finish a new book without suffering from severe depression With Lewes at her side, however, she was able to ultimately persevere.Especially riveting for George Eliot fans are the sections of Maddox s biography which describe the creation of the novels where Evans found the inspiration for each story s kernel, where she lived when she wrote each one, and what she and others had to say about them as they came into being many of them via serialization.Utilizing reams of personal letters, which bring immediacy to the narrative, Maddox paints an unforgettable portrait of a complex woman equal parts talent and insecurity who because she was so lucky in love, was able to write some of the greatest novels in the English language.


  2. says:

    I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.I gave this book the fifty page test and it failed I m just going to list out all the things that bothered me, as that s the easiest way to do this 1 The tone Maddox uses keeps switching around One paragraph she s making jokes directly to the reader and the next she s super formal Since it s non fiction, it would have been nice for her to pick one tone of narration and stick with it.2 Many sections are entirely unorganized and go off of tangents She also feels the need to repeat certain bits of information at length One example is on page 38 He described Mary Ann s as showing a balance of the Animal and Moral regions, with her intellect and moral feelings keeping her animal feelings in check Skip a paragraph Maddox then quotes In the Feelings, the Animal and Moral regions are about equal the moral being quite sufficient to keep the animal in order There s no need for Maddox to quote the exact same passage on two separate occasions.3 The author feels the need to describe everyone s physical appearance in extreme detail Mary Anne has a tutor Lets talk about his hair color and cheek bones A man publishes her work Dedicate an entire paragraph to his height It seemed as though every other man she encountered on the street would be the most handsome she d met in her life Not to mention the fact that Maddox feels the need to remind the reader of Mary Anne s ugliness on every other page 4 There were some sections where extreme author bias permeated every line of text For instance, Maddox dedicates a large amount of time condemning every one of Mary Anne s acquaintances for not using birth control However, she never states what Mary Anne s actual opinion on the matter was Yes, Maddox briefly mentions that Mary Anne talked to others about the idea of population control, but no direct quote from a letter or diary entry is given It seems, therefore, like Maddox is using Mary Anne s biography as a way to further her own political ideas rather than giving an accurate depiction of what her subject s were.5 I got this book from free from goodreads, so this isn t a personal complaint However, if I spent the 25 list price I would have expected a bit from the edition In the middle of the text a few pages are dedicated to old pictures of Mary Anne, but they re printed in black and white and on the same paper as the rest of the volume For 25 I would have expected color pictures and higher quality paper But this isn t to do with the author, just the publisher cheaping out Not being a scholar on George Eliot, I can t say how well researched the biography is However, I noticed there is no further reading section or even a reference list, which I find highly suspect The only thing this book has going for it is that it s easy to read and unintimidating Therefore, if you re looking for some light reading and aren t bothered by unorganized writing this might be the biography for you Otherwise, I d look elsewhere.


  3. says:

    Impulsively picked up a copy of this at The Book Barn about a year ago Yes, it is silly.Surprising no one, this isn t a very good book I chose to read it because it serves the purpose of reading a George Eliot biography with a quickness I wanted to get through one and didn t really have time to tackle Karl and because I am really interested in the major romantic relationship in George Eliot s life So, on the off chance this book was good, or insightful or new, I was curious.But, it is mostly dull, except for the fact that I think learning about Marian the person as, almost, a side study of learning about Eliot the author is always good The tone of the book is basically set in two unsatisfying lumps first, Marian is insecure and pathetic, and here s all the men she knew second, then Marian met Lewes and they traveled here and here and she wrote this and this And then this happened and then this happened It s a book report out of an encyclopedia, except without citing any sources almost ever.As far as the romance suggested by the title goes, we are basically treated with a bunch of highly unscientific speculation about who Marian may have lost her virginity to in her twenties Thanks That s fine I guess I m a little bit intrigued I guess But give me a shred of something that isn t an eye roller Once she and Lewes are together, it is zero of a deduction to interpret that they were lots in love, because they talked about their happiness basically all the time.The thing I actually disliked about the book, though, is that it paints Marian in a pretty crappy light I am biased because she s my favorite, yet I m sure she wasn t a saint, and probably every Victorian of her status and above was something of a pill Still, all we get here is a picture of how clingy she was, how irrational her insecurities, how much she hung on men, how whipped Lewes was, what an idiot she was falling for guy after guy though we don t actually know any feelings she didn t write down She doesn t come off great, and you know that can t be the whole story And, it s odd, because probably Brenda Maddox would say that she loves George Eliot I think she just is not a nuanced biographer of her Or, by being interested only in the superficiality of her personal relationships, managed to remove everything that s interesting about her thoughtfulness.For alternative reading, the Eliot Lewes section in Parallel Lives is only 40 pages long, but is 100x better than this whole book on the same topic I reread it after finishing this, and still loved it.It s a 2 , but I m three starring this one because it wasn t very ridiculous or offensive or inaccurate, and I learned some new things that were in fact useful to me I wouldn t recommend it either as reading or as scholarship, though.


  4. says:

    Many years ago when I first became aware of George Eliot as a Victorian woman who openly lived with a man without benefit of marriage, I eagerly sought out her novels thinking they would be as scandalous as her life Imagine my disappointment upon discovering that the books were conventional Victorian novels, no different from the books of Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope or Henry James, all of whom she knew and with whom she socialized.The mystery of how a woman who flouted Victorian conventions while writing stories observing those conventions has finally been solved for me by Brenda Maddox s excellent biography, George Eliot in Love This small volume, which the author calls a short life of the great Victorian author is a sympathetic treatment of Eliot s life and career.It is in some ways, a typical Victorian love story A woman, Mary Anne Evans, too ugly for marriage has several brief love affairs before finally finding a man, George Henry Lewes, who can ignore her looks and love her for herself But there the story becomes modern They are unable to marry because he is already married and has acknowledged his wife s children by her lover as his own thereby depriving himself of grounds for divorce Nevertheless, George and Mary Anne live as man and wife, she taking his name.She had been a journalist and editor but with his encouragement, turned to writing novels using the pseudonym George Eliot He nurtured her talent, shielded her from critical reviews and managed all of her business affairs Her fame grew and people began to forget that she was not married to the man she was living with Their love also grew This book is as much a love story as a biography Unlike most modern biographies, this one does not dwell on its subject s flaws The author mentions the possible physical relationships Eliot had before meeting Lewes, but doesn t speculate She also mentions but dismisses rumors that Lewes was unfaithful to Eliot She doesn t make a big deal of Eliot s marriage after Lewes death to a much younger man There is no titillation here, only the story of two soulmates who defied society to be together Having gained a better understanding of George Eliot as a person as well as an author, I am keen to re read her novels.


  5. says:

    In today s culture, a woman author living with a married man would be hardly noticed In 1850s England, however, it was scandalous Mary Ann Evans became the author George Eliot under the encouragement and guidance of her soulmate Henry George Lewes and lived with him for 25 years Their love and devotion was perfectly matched in one another, although he had a wife and children His wife, Agnes, bore children with someone else It is the stuff of a good soap opera.Most women writers of that time wrote under an assumed name to allow their work to be widely accepted Mary Ann Evans wrote a number of books, many of which have become classics Her lengthy novel, Middlemarch is an almost perfect vision of English small town life Mill on the Floss and Daniel Deronda are others She researched extensively, as it shows in the accuracy and detail in her writings.Although afflicted with ill health throughout her life, she continued to write until the death of her love, Mr Lewes She then married a man 20 years her junior, but died less than a year later.This is a interesting look into a life quite out of the norm for the times.


  6. says:

    This was a very readable and interesting biography without going into too much detail, you will gain a good sense of George Eliot aka Marian Evans life and loves When you compare her life to the Bronte sisters, it s very fascinating to ponder, but easy to see, why and how their writings took such different turns Brilliance either way.


  7. says:

    There is much to love in this little book There is a love story that escapes the strictures of the Victorian times George Eliot Marian Evans is one of her many names lived many years with George Henry Lewes who already had a wife and children There are insights into her novels, Silas Marner, The Mill on the Floss and Middlemarch The writing process for George Eliot was often torture, beginning with depression and ending with feelings of insecurity When she was born with her father s coarse features, a large nose and a man s chin, even her father knew that it would be difficult for her to find a suitor when she grew up He invested in education for her and that education and her own gentle intelligence later made her one of the most loved and best writers of England I feel that Brenda Maddox wrote this biography with love It would have been easy to be critical with George Eliot s decisions and fill the book with some of the nasty things written about her but instead she tried to be fair to the writer In the middle of the book, there enough paintings and one photo to give readers a clear picture of what George Eliot lived with every day of her life This book is richly detailed and actually a slow read but an enjoyable one The strange thing is that I had the distinct feeling of intruding into her personal life, something that she and George Lewes protected furiously while living I would recommend it to anyone who has reads George Eliot s writings I won this book in a Good Reads Conteszt.


  8. says:

    I received this book as a first read from goodreads.com.When I first requested this book on goodreads I thought it was a novel When I received it and realized it was nonfiction I was worried I wouldn t like it as other nonfiction books based on the lives of authors such as Becoming Jane about Jane Austen I had trouble even finishing They were dry and seemed to stick only to the facts which, while important for the type of work they were, did not stimulate my interest This, in contrast, was very good It read like a novel and was full of anecdotes that added to the joy of reading about the life of a woman that so many of us have heard of and even read but that we don t know much about her personal life or at least this was my experience She truly was a fascinating woman that seemed to go against the grain of contemporary standards on just about every level She was widely considered to be ugly but highly intelligent and kind, she lived for 25 years with a married man as if they were actually married and she made an exorbinant amount of money in a time when many women did not seem to work outside the home She was also very outspoken and highly learned in her nontraditional views of religion and science Even with all of these forays away from the norm, she arose one of the most beloved and read contemporary novelists of her time I am incredibly surprised there has not been fiction written about her because her life is truly fascinating a definite must read for biography lovers


  9. says:

    Perhaps it is because I don t often read biographies, but I didn t particularly care for the subject matter It was well written by Brenda Maddox, but Marian, Mary Ann, Marrianne, or George, did not lead a particularly exciting life and she and her chosen significant other seemed to be sick most of the time I have never read one of her books and the only one I had even heard of was Silas Marner, have lead a sheltered life I may also have been influenced by the fact that she was said to be an agnostic I felt better about reading about her when she was reported to have said that she liked the feeling that she got inside when attending church services, I believe it was at holiday I was a little confused by the pictures in the center of the book Maddox wrote of Eliot s father being Robert Evans and her brother being Isaac Evans, the pictures have the names reversed It is sad that she was frequently said to be ugly Why are we so cruel to each other that is even a factor This could be part of the reason she became an agnostic I feel fortunate that I was not of that time and place Perhaps someday when I have read all the books that I want to read, I will pick up one of Eliot s novels and see, but at the moment I can t help but think that her sadness and melancholy would show up in her writing.how dreary.


  10. says:

    I can t fault this book in the truth in advertising department it focuses on Eliot s love life, to a degree that her intellectual and artistic achievements seem like backdrop There are some not particularly well supported assumptions about her early sexuality, and generally not enough depth in exploring her character and ideas We re told rather than shown how fascinating she was Fine as an introduction fantastic if it raises interest in reading her fiction but there are numerous full length biographies that give the subject her due This is not one of them.I received this book through the Librarything Early Reviews Program.