The seemingly peaceful country village of Hayslope is the setting for this ambitious first novel by one of the nineteenth century's great novelists. With sympathy, wit, and unflinching realism, Adam Bede tells a story that would have been familiar to Eliot's first readers: the seduction of a pretty farm girl by the young squire of the district. Eliot uses this story, with its tragic implications, to explore the dangers of reliance on religious and social norms to govern destructive desires. As this edition demonstrates, Adam Bede addresses profound questions of morality, religion, and the role of women in society, while at the same time seeking to establish a new aesthetic for fiction. This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and a rich selection of appendices, including selections from Eliot's letters and journals, contemporary reviews of the novel, and accounts of the murder trial of Mary Voce, the woman whose story formed part of the inspiration for the novel.
Mary Waldron is Visiting Fellow in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex. She is the author of Jane Austen and the Fiction of Her Time (Cambridge University Press, 1999).
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- ID: 9781551113647
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