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Daniel Deronda

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  14,901 ratings  ·  565 reviews
Daniel Deronda, the last of Eliot's novels, is the most complete expression of her idealism. Its main concerns are those of personal morality, of dedication to tradition and roots, and of spiritual identification and sympathy--all set in an era of considerable national and international awareness. The text is that of the Clarendon Edition.
About the Series: For over 100 ye
Paperback, 727 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1876)
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(Re-read from June 07 to June 12, 2012)

I had forgotten what a hard work reading Daniel Deronda was. It has to be Eliot’s most challenging and overwhelming novel, yet such a great pleasure to read and re-read! It's enormously ambitious novel, broad in its scope, space, time and history. The setting itself is untypical of Eliot’s previous novels. It’s no longer the idyllic, provincial villages of Adam Bede or Middlemarch, but Daniel Deronda is set at the heart of cosmopolitan aristocracy of contem
Kressel Housman
Now here’s a book that combines two of my very favorite things: classic British romance with – YES! – Jewish themes. Marian Evans a/k/a George Eliot even went to Frankfurt am Main to do research for the book – in the times of no less than Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch! I think I’ve found a thesis topic if I ever get to graduate school. Till then, though, I’ll have to content myself with this review. No major spoilers, but it is a pretty detailed plot summary, so if you want to be 100% safe, skip to t ...more
This is one of my favorite books. George Eliot probably has to be one of the best authors that I have ever read. Her psychological insight into each character is so amazing and her analysis of human nature is quite profound. Gwendolen Harleth, much as you despise her, is very vividly portrayed and there is an interesting reality in all of her words and actions. She is a revealing character and, though most people do not have her outright selfishness, yet I think most could relate to some of her ...more
Eliot is a master of characterization and uses this gift well in exploring two important themes in English society. The first and most unique is that of antisemitism in late 19th Century English life, as well as the beginnings of Zionism. The second theme is altruism vs. egotism. Too verbose at times, but otherwise a hugely ambitious and successful social novel.

4 1/2 stars.
Grace Tjan
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I don’t know why I had never read George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda before, having read nearly all her other novels. This is a marvelous work, its great length permitting intricacy of plot and detailed examination of character. Published in 1876, it was Eliot’s last novel and her only novel taking place in contemporary Victorian society. It was also arguably one of her most controversial works. The plot is two-fold, one plot line involving traditional English class society and focusing on the life a ...more
Aug 29, 2006 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literary Nuts
Shelves: classics, fiction, england
I found this book to be a fascinating portrayal of the Industrial Age in England and the emergence of the Zionist movement. A thought-provoking novel that provides a clear insight into an unusual era.
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This was no Middlemarch, but I do think it's amazing that I can still enjoy a book by an author who has been dead a little over 120 years. There were a few really great one-liners in there which show what a comic genius Eliot could be. There were also some beautiful sentiments about relationships and the constraints put on women during Eliot's time (seen at times in Gwendolen's character, but mostly in Daniel's mother).

My criticism of the novel was that Eliot spent a lot of time developing Gwend
Another novel it feels absurd to rate with stars.

What an exhilarating and delicious experience. The novel wasn't new to me, but it's been over 20 years since I last read it. How wonderful to be reintroduced to the complexities of Gwendolyn Harleth, the delicately tuned sadism of Henleigh Grandcourt, the benevolent conventionality of Sir Hugo Mallinger, the yearnings of Daniel Deronda. George Eliot allows everyone his or her humanity--even Grandcourt. I revere her for creating some of he most nua
After closing the page on this long novel, it lingers on in my mind and I've been trying to digest it well enough so that I may do it justice in my review. It is a complex and elegantly written novel, almost prophetic in its day (1876)---just at the cusp of the Zionist movement.

The first chapter failed to engage me and I nearly aborted the read because of it, but that chapter would later fit like a puzzle piece into the big scheme of things. I am so glad I kept reading, because this is the work
So a couple of years ago on . . . I dunno, PBS? BBC? I got hooked on a miniseries called Daniel Deronda, which was starring Hugh Dancy and Romola Garai (the reason why I tuned in) and based on a novel I had never heard of, by George Eliot, who I had heard of but never read anything by.


One is not expecting a story by an English lady authoress to suddenly delve into the plight of the Jewish people in Victorian England. One is not expecting mistresses and illegitimate ch
Christopher H.
I have just finished a leisurely eight-week group-read of George Eliot's last completed novel, Daniel Deronda, with my 'Anglophiles Anonymous' group on I very much enjoyed the experience of reading and discussing the book, section by section, each week. I am convinced that I got so much more out of it this way than if I'd read it by myself. Without the incentive of the group-read, I am also quite sure that this is a novel that I probably would not have even acquired, much less read ...more
Not my normal story at all; I do tend to more light reading, thriller, adventure, but at times I do try to explore more challenging stories. This was definitely one of those. It's a true classic, well-written and intelligent. The story focusses on two main characters, Gwendolen Harleth, a selfish, young lady who thinks the world revolves around her and Daniel Deronda, a gentlemen, searching for himself. This search has many aspects, the simple one being trying to ascertain who his parents are as ...more
Although not George Eliot's best work, Daniel Deronda is still worth reading. Eliot's attempt to explore Jewish mysticism is difficult to muddle through, even with copious footnotes. Her portrayal of Gwendolyn is far more compelling and complex than that of the saintly Deronda or the overly simplified Mirah. Frankly, I found myself wondering most at Gwendolyn's reliance on Deronda. She was a more interesting character when she was hopelessly flawed.
Discussion is being held at the Victorians group.

This is the story of Daniel Deronda and his search for his true identify.

In this book Eliot show her best of style of writing: in the first two chapters, in a flashback point of view, Deronda met Gwendolyn at a Casino but she is forced to go home due to financial duties with her family. Apparently, a romantic relationship is established between these characters.

However, as the plot develops, one learns the true story of Daniel Deronda and his s
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This is a tale of ethics, of the way in which one young woman is overwhelmed by, shaped by and re-imagines herself due to her collision with the force of nature which is Daniel Deronda, a young man facing his own ethical questions. What do we owe to our heritage, to our parents, to ourselves? This is also a novel that explores the early Zionist movement, yet is tainted by a strong thread of (unconscious?) anti-Semitism running through it. The tale is told with a persistent current of irony, whic ...more
A long read - not to be undetaken if you like modern prose that never goes off on a tangent or lets you in on the author's musings. But it drew me in; the characters are well drawn and you can't help sympathising with Gwendolen even though she's also a bit unlikeable. Mirah seems too good to be true on the other hand. The book shows the great contrasts in lifestyle, hopes and expectations between those with money and those without in Victorian England; and in particular, how hard it was for wome ...more
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
This is not a quick or easy read.

There are parts that I should have reread, but this is hard to do when reading an eBook, so I missed some things.

Daniel Deronda was the least interesting of the cast of characters.

I had hoped to enjoy this as well as I did Middlemarch. I did not.
Laurel Hicks
George Eliot's last novel does not quite ring true to me. Was she being too ambitious with her mix of characters and themes? It just does not seem to all work together. I plan to watch the BBC Andrew Davies video next to see what he makes of it.

I liked it quite a bit more after my second reading.

Ronda! ... :

... a great place in Spain. It was loved by Ernest Hemingway (those fabulous cliffs are thought to have inspired the ending of For Whom the Bell Tolls) and it's the place from which Eliot's hero derives his surname ("Daniel of Ronda"). It really is a beautiful place. Everyone should go.

Sadly, Eliot does't take her Daniel to Ronda. Such a shame! But that disappointment aside, she's given us a fine book with some lovely surprises. I love it when someone at work asks "How's your book g
Ben Babcock
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I love George Eliot's books for two reasons: (1) her stellar writing, and (2) her memorable characters. This book lacks both. Strange way to end an otherwise excellent career.

I'm not sure what Eliot was trying to accomplish with Daniel Deronda. While I understand her desire to defy the stereotype of Jewish culture in Victorian Britain, I think she was trying too hard. In fact, I think the Jewish theme of this book was Eliot's only real focus, and she created cardboard characters under the guise
Yuck! I usually enjoy reading Eliot's work but this one should be burned. The title character appears briefly in the beginning and then disappears for a minimum of 100 pages. The paragraphs are long, tedious, and don't seem to relate to anything, so much so that I found myself drifting while in the midst of them and then having to re-read what was so dull in the first place! I made it to page 240 when I decided to skip to the 'good parts' and at least get an ending for what I had put myself ...m ...more
Of note: for someone who's my favorite author, I haven't 5-starred a George Eliot book since the first one that I read. Tough crowd, I guess. But tough books, too. And while I'll possibly never love anything as much as The Mill on the Floss, this book did incredible things and opened up dozens of doors in my mind.

What made it most incredible to me was the thematic currents that kept coming in doubles. I started keeping a list too late to remember everything I felt was there, but so many things i
George Eliot a Zionist? That's more than surprising: it's almost as amazing as the fact that she seems to have come to her Zionism by way of the Kabbalah. Like Eliot's earlier novels, this, her last work of fiction, is filled with gentle yet sharply ironic observations and a sublimely lofty sense of the potential of extraordinary individuals. The moral education of an egotistical English beauty runs parallel with the self-discovery of an English gentleman who serves as her spiritual lodestar, pa ...more
This book was interestingly tedious. I wanted to see what happened to the characters, but Eliot spent so much time telling (at length) and then showing (briefly) that I couldn't help but think that the story could be told as effectively in about 1/4 the number of pages.

Gwendolyn is not a very sympathetic heroine. Her marriage to Grandcourt seems a harsh punishment for her abrupt and snobbish rejection of Rex. On the other hand, her obsession with Deronda seems an extreme repayment for his mild
V.r. Christensen
Daniel Deronda is perhaps my favourite book of all time. When I first read it, I wasn't sure what I thought of it. Elliot weaves the tale, as she designed to do, so that the reader is not quite certain of his loyalties. We root for Daniel, of course, but which of the women in his life do we wish for him to choose? In the end, of course, he chooses the more deserving of the two. And yet, do we not find ourselves rooting for that which society, in that day and age, would have chosen for him? Are w ...more
Khadijah Qamar
Spoilers ahead:

It's been quite a journey to get through Eliot's Daniel Deronda. Not only is it long, but Eliot's writing can be a bit challenging. She's full of allusions to art, opera, and poetry and quite often she dwells in vague, third-person asides that are supposed to enhance the "feeling" of the situation, but usually end in making it more complex. These add to the richness of the novel, but also make it a slower read.

What strikes the reader most in this novel are the characters, particu
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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 Romola

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“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from. ” 222 likes
“For what is love itself, for the one we love best? - an enfolding of immeasurable cares which yet are better than any joys outside our love.” 73 likes
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