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The Lifted Veil

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,043 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Horror was my familiar.

Published the same year as her first novel, Adam Bede, this overlooked work displays the gifts for which George Eliot would become famous—gritty realism, psychological insight, and idealistic moralizing. It is unique from all her other writing, however, in that it represents the only time she ever used a first-person narrator, and it is the only tim
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Paperback, 75 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Melville House (first published July 1859)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,577)
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Ron Nie
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 3 of 5 stars
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
César Lasso
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
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Amy
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
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Maan Kawas
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
Aleece
It pains me to give George Eliot two stars.
Louis
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
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Meg
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.
Tammy Frederici
I will now lower the veil on this novella, silently and most painfully. Not her usual style of writing, thankfully.
Carlos
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
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
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
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.
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
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§--
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
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Mike
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
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Kirsti
Nov 18, 2009 Kirsti rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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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
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Sandra
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
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Grace Harwood
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
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
Jessica
http://virtualmargin.blogspot.com/2011/08/lifted-veil-33100.html

So George Eliot wrote a gothic-horror/science fiction piece?

The Lifted Veil is quite a departure from Eliot's other work. Written only a few months after Adam Bede, it was at first rejected by her publisher. However it now seems to be getting the critical attention it deserves.

The story follows Latimer, a self-described sensitive poet who also happens to be clairvoyant -- he can see visions of the future, as well as into the minds
...more
Dan Hahn
I actually downloaded the Project Gutenberg version of this for iBooks on the iPad and was surprised to find how awesomely easy it is to read classic literature on it. The built in dictionary in iBooks works without being connected to wifi, and since we don't have a 3G iPad this was very convenient.

As far as the novella goes, it read a lot like a ghost story, it was creepy and in some ways dissimilar from alot of George Elliot that I have read. The Lifted Veil is about a sensitive and sickly iso
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Lady Jane
Now I know where Stephanie Meyers got one of her ideas for "Twilight's" characterization! Latimer, the frail, pale, and poetic narrator, Latimer, is a man who can hear the thoughts of others and predict the future; yet his visions are involuntary and they soon become a burden, preventing him from living his life. He seems to have access to read anyone's mind, except Bertha's. THAT is the intrigue and reason for his love. Isn't that what Edward LOVED about Bella? Not only his sensibility for her ...more
Peter Ellwood
More of a curiosity piece in a way: yes, it's the wondrous George Eliot, but it's an inevitably lightweight piece (it sets out to be) and it stands alone in her work, as being narrated as a first-person novella, which dabbles in the supernatural too.

All the same, it is the wondrous GE, and it's worth an hour's investment to read it from end to end!
Jillian
In the novella, her protagonist and narrator is a young man named Latimer–a dreamer and would-be poet of “half-womanish, half-ghostly beauty.” He’s the slightly sympathetic second son of an English banker who discovers in himself a rare gift. What he mistakes as a poetic disposition turns out to be a profound ability of clairvoyance. And what he mistakes to be a gift is the most terrible curse. With his other-worldly powers, Latimer envisions his own death. He perceives the hatred from his fathe ...more
Summers
Eliot doesn't tell any story simply. This was an intriguing story, but grim. True to form, explained some things way too much and left other things unexplained. She tells the ending at the beginning so by the time I got to the ending, I had to go back and read the beginning to remember how it ended. Interesting theme though!
Emily
Librivox recording by Bruce Pirie, very good.

Narrator Latimer's story is a precursor of Clyde Bruckman, Sookie Stackhouse, and BtVS episode "Hell's Bells", with some Shelley's Frankenstein thrown in.
alessandra falca
Rimani con qualcosa di non risolto. E il velo ancora non si è dissolto del tutto. George Eliot in stato di grazia con "Middlemarch" è un'altra cosa. Piccolo racconto con varie potenzialità da poter sviluppare. Ma invece fermo lì, nel dolore esistenziale.
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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
More about George Eliot...
Middlemarch Silas Marner The Mill on the Floss Adam Bede Daniel Deronda

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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.” 19 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")” 11 likes
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