Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Eliot, George. (1819 - 1880).

W o r k

- wrote under the masculine pseudonym to publicly distinguish between the highly moral narrator x the religious sceptic, adulteress (lover of the married George Henry Lewes), and outcast

- avoided outspokenness on faith, feminism, and sexual morality

- employed a patient and tolerant narrative voice of gradual evolution

- demanded an intellectual, emotional, and: moral response from the reader

Adam Bede (1859):

- set in a rural working community in recent past, free of the confusions and contradictions of the industrial and urban present

- advocates the values of an old-fashioned and stratified England held together by religion and class-interdependence

- introduces a new kind of heroism: a heroic uprightness emerging from the condition of ordinary country life

The Mill on the Floss (1860):

- set in the provincial English society 

- reinforces family values x but: also stifles bids for personal liberation

Silas Marner (1861):

- a more schematised and optimistic moral fable

x but: explores a series of ethical, social, and spiritual dilemmas

Romola (1863):

- a historical novel, set in the Renaissance Florence

- the protagonist rejects the narrow obligations of the Church and State

Felix Holt, the Radical (1866):

- a political novel, set in the period of the First Reform Bill (1832)

- explores the conservative fears for the Constitution x limited changes brought by the Reform Bill

Middlemarch (1871 – 1872):

- her masterpiece, set in the period of the First Reform Bill

- interweaves a web of individual destinies, contrasts public x private history, and juxtaposes the historic burden of Rome x the modern history of English

- concerned with women reformers silenced by social conditioning

- conclusion: a woman may produce nameless and not-remembered ‘unhistoric acts’ x but: still contributes to ‘the growing good of the world’

Daniel Deronda (1876):

- an Anglo-Jewish novel, set in the cultivated European world of artists

- contrasts limited English aristocracy x intense Jewish outsiders


(Painting: François D'Albert Durade. 1849. Source: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Mary Ann Evans. Penname George Eliot. (1819 - 1880). British.
  • Work

    Novelist. Author of Middlemarch (1871 - 1872).
  • Genres

    Victorian period. Moralism. Historical novel. Political novel.


Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.

Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.

Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.

Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


"Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds."

From Adam Bede (1859).


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