Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rebecca Mead on Middlemarch

"Middlemarch" suggests that it is always too late to be what you might have been-but it also shows tht, virtually without exception, the unrealized life is worth living. The book that Virginia Woolf characterized as "one of thh few English novels written for grown-up people" is also a book about how to be a grownup person-about how to bear one's share of sorrow, failure, and loss, as well as to enjoy moments of hard-won happiness.
-The New Yorker, February 15th 2011p.80-83

Rumor Mill: George Eliot, author of Middlemarch, was notorious for being less... fair of face than her contemporaries. On her honeymoon in Venice, her husband, John Cross, allegedly jumped out of their bedroom window one night and into the awaiting canal waters. Biographers suspect it was because Cross could not bring himself to seal the deal. The above picture is the only photographic portrait that Eliot ever sat for. Honestly, she doesn't seem that awful to me. But literary historians love to emphasize this aspect of her story.

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