George Eliot's work has been subject to a wide range of critical questioning, most of which relates her substantially to a Victorian context and intellectual framework. This book examines the ways in which her work anticipates significant aspects of writing in the twentieth and indeed twenty first century in regard to both art and philosophy.
This new book presents a series of linked essays exploring Eliot's credentials as a radical thinker. Opening with her relationship to the Romantic tradition, Newton goes on to discuss her reading of Darwinism, her radical critique of Victorian values and her affiliation with the modernists. The final essays discuss her work in relation to Derridean themes and to Bernard Williams' concept of moral luck. What emerges is a very different Eliot from the conservative figure portrayed in much critical literature.
Ken Newton is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Dundee. He is the author or editor of ten books, most recently Modern Literature and the Tragic (2009) and George Eliot, Judaism and the Novels (2002).
Introduction CHAPTER 1: Eliot's critique of Darwinism CHAPTER 2: Eliot and the The Byronic CHAPTER 3: Eliot and Moral Philosophy: Kant and The Mill on The Floss CHAPTER 4: The Role of The Narrator in Eliot's Novels, Especially Middlemarch CHAPTER 5: Prototypes and Symbolism in Middlemarch CHAPTER 6: Anticipation of Modernism in Eliot's CHAPTER 7: Realism and Romance: Allusion and Intertextuality in Daniel Deronda CHAPTER 8: Circumcision, Realism, and Irony in Daniel Deronda CHAPTER 9: Formal Experiments and Ideological Critique: Silas Marner and 'Victorian Values' CHAPTER 10: The Post-Colonial Critique of Eliot: Is Edward Said Right About Daniel Deronda? CHAPTER 11: Eliot and Racism: How Should one Read 'The Modern Hep! Hep! Hep!'? CHAPTER 12: Eliot and Derrida: and Elective Affinity CHAPTER 13: The Role of luck in The Art, Ethics, and Politics of Daniel Deronda