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The Lifted Veil

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3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,302 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
Latimer, a sensitive and intellectual man, finds he has clairvoyant powers: he has a vision of a woman, pale, fatal-eyed, who he later meets: she is Bertha Grant, his brother's fiancee. Entranced and bewildered, Latimer is unwilling to take heed of the warning visions which beset him.
Paperback, 91 pages
Published December 27th 1987 by Virago Modern Classics (first published July 1859)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul
Feb 27, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian-novels
Quite an oddity for Eliot; a novella that can be read in one sitting and a first person narrator. It also has a distinct gothic edge and feels in the tradition of Mary Shelley and Poe. The themes are not so much supernatural as pseudo-scientific. It concerns the narrator Latimer who believes himself to have extra sensory powers; the ability to see the future and read the thoughts of others. There’s also a spot of mesmerism and the idea that a blood transfusion on death may temporarily raise some ...more
César Lasso
Mar 05, 2016 César Lasso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
Una novelita o nouvelle que se puede leer de una sentada, y mi primer contacto con la autora victoriana George Eliot. La he leído en traducción española, de la que existen al menos dos versiones con ligera variación en el título. El texto original inglés se puede obtener de forma gratuita, en formato Epub o Kindle, en The Project Gutenberg.

La obra se deja leer y, en algún momento, me ha recordado vagamente a una obra maestra posterior en tres décadas: El retrato de Dorian Gray. Quizás, lo que me
...more
Ron Nie
Dec 11, 2014 Ron Nie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short novella about Latimer, a man who has premonitions that eventually exile him from humanity. Whether this is all a self fulfilling prophecy is one of the implicit questions of this wonky little story, but what interested me was how it relates to Eliot's work as a whole. She's so often the queen of narrative omniscience - she can dip into character's minds, represent how they think and feel, then fly away, untouched, because her narrator persona is unaffected. It's as though in this ...more
Werner
Sep 13, 2009 Werner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th century fiction
Shelves: science-fiction
This book won't be every reader's cup of tea. As the above description suggests, its subject matter was atypical for Eliot --though she wrote it in 1859, her publishers found it so different from her usual work that they delayed printing it until 1878. Premised as it is on psychic phenomena --flashes of telepathy and precognition, which in Eliot's day were just beginning to attract the attention of some intellectuals, and of the public (the titular "veil" is the one that hides the future)-- I wo ...more
Amy
Apr 18, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librivox
Oh man. What an odd departure for Eliot. It's especially striking to me since I'm currently in the middle of Middlemarch. I like gothic fantasy, but this was almost impossible to enjoy because I imagined the narrator smelled of sour milk and had runny eyes even as a young man. Ugh. Anyway, he's a sickly, pale clairvoyant who falls for the only woman whose mind he cannot penetrate. Sound familiar? My head hurts.

Librivox, thank you for making it possible for me to get through this kind of story i
...more
Maan Kawas
Feb 18, 2014 Maan Kawas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful novella and a dark fantasy that reflects George Eliot’s interest in the contemporary science in her Victorian age, especially in physiology, mesmerism, and phrenology. It, also, shows Eliot’s attempt to the Victorian horror fiction, which is not similar to her other realistic fiction. However, the novella includes many important points and themes, such as the sympathy and lack of sympathy in human relationships, fear of the inevitable death (the unknown) and acceptance of the difficu ...more
Christian Paula
What a strange story. Unreliable narrator, an experiment gone wrong, an exile both necessary and not. In the lead up to reading Middlemarch, I wanted a small sample, but The Lifted Veil may not be it.
Aleece
Jan 26, 2015 Aleece rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It pains me to give George Eliot two stars.
Louis
Oct 17, 2013 Louis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for a book club, whose meeting I ended up unable to attend. I wish that I had been able to attend because this book certainly invites discussion.

The plot involves the narrator, Latimer, who suddenly develops selective foresight of future events, as well as being able to hear the inner thoughts of others. Bertha, the woman he is attracted to, is the one person whose thoughts he cannot read until he marries her. The entire tale is narrated as the author lies dying.

It is not the p
...more
Karen (Book-Vixen)
Death is something that Victorian people were obsessed about. When this short story was written the Victorian people were in crisis about their faith after discoveries were made to contradict everything they believed.

The story is very dark melodramatic and suited this time frame. Narrator foretells his own death, and his journey through life up to that point.
Meg
Mar 29, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un bellissimo racconto noir, che fa a meno delle tipiche tinte fosche e delle scene forti .
I personaggi della vicenda sono delineati magnificamente attraverso le loro sensazioni e emozioni. In particolare, apprezzo moltissimo Latimer, con la sua sensibilità fuori dal comune e il suo tono disilluso.
Neri.
Feb 07, 2016 Neri. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I have no clue why many people love this book because for me this book felt like an 18th century persons fever dream.
Tammy Frederici
I will now lower the veil on this novella, silently and most painfully. Not her usual style of writing, thankfully.
Carlos
Mar 13, 2014 Carlos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
El nombre de George Eliot nos habla eminentemente del romanticismo. Un romanticismo que nos cobija bajo nombres como el de las hermanas Bronte o Jane Austen: no hablamos de una cursi tragicomedia tipo Televisa, pero sí de muchas reminiscencias de amores contrariados, de personajes que idealizan la imagen del amor y de la pasión. La historia de Latimer, un joven enamorado de la novia de su hermano mayor, podría parecer determinada a caer en la melcocha y el sufrimiento a lo Corín Tellado, pero af ...more
Adelaide Mcginnity
This book is not at all like the rest of the Eliot oeuvre. It is instead quite Gothic (in all but brevity; if only Ann Radcliffe had possessed the pithiness of Eliot, she might actually have written a halfway decent book) and very supernatural. But the differences go beyond theme and tone; the writing is atypical for Eliot, and reminds me much more of either a Poe or a late 1800s pop fiction writer (think Bellamy) than of the woman who wrote Middlemarch. The parallels to Poe are indeed quite not ...more
Julie
The Lifted Veil, was a quick read, engrossing at times mainly because of the writing style - it just pulls you in and you don't want to leave the book. The story itself was interesting, although I did find it tapered off a bit in the middle and while the ending was well done, it just didn't have the same feel to it as the beginning of the book. It was still an interesting story - especially from the time period it was written and who wrote it. Compared to some of the other books I've read by the ...more
Renee M
I like Gothic literature and I like George Eliot, but this novella fell flat for me. A true novelty for Eliot but in subject (supernatural) and style (1st person narrative). It's a fun little read for the purpose of seeing a great author exploring for her element, before she found her true calling.
Nan
Jul 05, 2009 Nan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised to come across this little known novella. I'd never heard of it. After reading it, I know why. It is very bleak. The main character is perpetually sad and unsympathetic. The premise was promising, but the book failed to reach the potential.
Adam
Sep 08, 2009 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hypnagogia
This early Eliot novella is a curiosity, a surprising foray into Edgar Allan Poe territory. And it is both more readable than much of Poe's work and less inventive.
Jim  Justice
Sep 29, 2015 Jim Justice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspired

G.E. must have been inspired. Her eloquence alone merits four stars. Perhaps the tale is confusing. What is the point and what is the unknown power and who would want it.? The narrator's view into the soul of his wife? We hear the maid come back to life to tell us. Is his insight into the thoughts of others intuition or something else? Surely something else. I have not seen Eliot edge into this subject anywhere else. Brief, easy to read, eloquent, mysterious, and strange.
E. Chainey (Bookowski)
PINUCCIA'NIN OKUMA ŞENLİĞİ BAHAR 2014 - ÖYKÜ KATEGORISI KAPSAMINDA OKUDUM.

(Kitap No. 1)

George Eliot'u bir penname/mahlas olduğunu biliyor muydunuz bilmiyorum ama ben biliyordum. George Eliot aslında bir kadın yazar. George Eliot(d. 22 Kasım 1819Nuneatonve ö. 22 Aralık 1880Londra). George Eliot takma adıyla yazan'Mary Anne'ya da'Marian Evans', Victoria döneminin en ünlü İngiliz yazarlarındandır. George Eliot yazmaktaki amacının "tozlu sokaklardan ve tarlalardan gelen etten kemikten insanların" y
...more
§--
May 22, 2011 §-- rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
I really enjoyed this. If it wasn't for the irrelevant B-movie ending, this would be a 5-star work. Until that ending (bringing the dead back to life with...a blood transfusion...only to tell a secret and die), it is a brilliant examination of fate, knowledge, and mystery. The narrator, if we are to believe him, is a sensitive, poet-type, who, after a childhood illness (a proto-comic book plot), developed clairvoyant abilities.

This clairvoyance, however, ruins everything for him. Rather than gi
...more
Mike
Dec 30, 2011 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfectly likable, provocative little ditty. Five-star insight with okay character and shaky plot. The following is a quote I want to add as a little coda that exemplifies some of my reservations about Absence of Mind. Yes, I'm using another review to further review something else.

"Conceive the condition of the human mind if all propositions whatsoever were self-evident except one, which was to be come self-evident at the close of a summer's day, but in the meantime might be the subject of quest
...more
Kirsti
Nov 18, 2009 Kirsti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: neurasthenics, Trent Reznor, people who wear leather and vinyl in ninety-degree weather
Plotwise, this is not that much more complicated than an episode of Murder, She Wrote. But the prose style is gorgeous, and I felt all swoony and doomy while reading it, and that's a perfectly good feeling to have on rainy November days.

Some of my favorite passages:

The city looked so thirsty that the broad river seemed to me a sheet of metal; and the blackened statues, as I passed under their blank gaze, along the unending bridge, with their ancient garments and their saintly crowns, seemed to m
...more
Laura
Page 30:
But there is no tyranny more complete than that which a self-centred negative nature exercises over a morbidly sensitive nature perpetually craving sympathy and support.

Page 43:
There is no short cut, no patent tram-road, to wisdom: after all the centuries of invention, the soul's path lies through the thorny wilderness which must be still trodden in solitude, with bleeding feet, with sobs for help, as it was trodden by them of old time.

Page 54:
The easiest way to deceive a poet is to tell
...more
Sandra
Sep 26, 2009 Sandra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In TLV Eliot explores the theme of extrasensory perception, which was in vogue when she wrote the novella. The main character, Latimer, has the ability to perceive what others are thinking and to see into the future. Unfortunately Latimer seems unable to them use these extraordinary powers to his advantage. To the contrary, he seems burdened by them and in fact lives his life a victim to fate. He is locked in a loveless, even hateful, marriage to Bertha, one that he foresaw and possibly could ha ...more
Hannah
This was my first book by George Eliot, and I noticed that many people say that it wasn't e type of book that she normally wrote. I look forward to reading more George Eliot as to do a comparison with this book.
This is about a clairvoyant man who has a vision of a woman, who he later discovers is his brother's fiancé.
It is written as if this man was writing the story of his life and you are reading it at a later date.
It tells about his life and his various visions, and how he struggles wit
...more
Grace Harwood
Jun 01, 2013 Grace Harwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic free classic from the public domain library and available for download on Kindle. I always have to work up to read George Eliot, I always think it's going to be hard-going and I don't know why I always approach her work in this way because I always absolutely love everything of hers I have read. This is no exception. It's only 75 pages long but I soon found myself lost in the story of Latimer, a man who from the unenviable position of knowing he is shortly to die, relates his l ...more
Jennifer
May 11, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the only book I read on the train that I actually brought with me to read on the train. One of Melville House Books' Art of the Novella series, I was drawn to it as soon as I saw the author. I read Middlemarch a year or so back and absolutely loved it, but I hadn't yet read anything else by Eliot. As I am given to understand, this work both is and is not representative of her novel writing. It of course features her empathetic characterizations and high-minded idealism, but in this novel ...more
Amle
Another one-hour read by Eliot but this story is so unlike anything else I've read by her that I wouldn't have guessed she wrote it.
This is a dark, gothic, psychological, first person narrative with supernatural elements.
Despite the fact that I like Eliot, and I like supernatural, gothic and all that I listed above, it just doesn't work. The writing is beautiful but the story lacks meaning and point to me.
I'm not one to stop you if you want to give it a go.
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In 1819, novelist George Eliot (nee Mary Ann Evans), was born at a farmstead in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, where her father was estate manager. Mary Ann, the youngest child and a favorite of her father's, received a good education for a young woman of her day. Influenced by a favorite governess, she became a religious evangelical as an adolescent. Her first published work was a religious poe ...more
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“We learn words by rote, but not their meaning; that must be paid for with our life-blood, and printed in the subtle fibres of our nerves.” 23 likes
“I have never fully unbosomed myself to any human being; I have never been encouraged to trust much in the sympathy of my fellow men. But we have all a chance of meeting with some pity, some tenderness, some charity, when we are dead: it is the living only who cannot be forgiven - the living only from whom men's indulgence and reverence are held off, like the rain by the hard east wind. While the heart beats, bruise it - it is your only opportunity; while the eye can still turn towards you with moist, timid entreaty, freeze it with an icy unanswering gaze; while the ear, that delicate messenger to the inmost sanctuary of the soul, can still take in the tones of kindness, put it off with hard civility, or sneering compliment, or envious affectation of indifference; while the creative brain can still throb with the sense of injustice, with the yearning for brotherly recognition - make haste - oppress it with your ill-considered judgements, your trivial comparisons, your careless misrepresentations. The heart will by and by be still - ubi saeoa indignatio ulterius cor lacerate nequit; the eye will cease to entreat; the ear will be deaf; the brain will have ceased from all wants as well as from all work. Then your charitable speeches may find vent; then you may remember and pity the toil and the struggle and the failure; then you may give due honour to the work achieved; then you may find extenuation for errors, and may consent to bury them ("The Lifted Veil")” 12 likes
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