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The Lifted Veil / Brother Jacob (Oxford World's Classics)

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  357 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
First published in Blackwood's Magazine in 1859, "The Lifted Veil" is now one of George Eliot's most widely read and critically discussed short stories. A dark fantasy drawing on contemporary scientific interest in the physiology of the brain, mesmerism, phrenology, and experiments in revification, it is Eliot's anatomy of her own moral philosophy. Narrated by an egocentri ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 11th 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1864)
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Apr 27, 2015 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After years of rereading George Eliot's major books--Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, etc.--I wanted to experience some of her "minor" works. The two novellas in this volume are engrossing and and enjoyable examples of Eliot working in a somewhat different vein than I have previously seen. In "The Lifted Veil," it's the supernatural: a young man is tormented by his ability to hear the thoughts of those around him. The narrative amounts to a persuasive argument that our pleasure and sense of meaning ...more
Paul Blakemore
Aug 24, 2012 Paul Blakemore rated it really liked it
This book didn't feel like George Eliot when I read it. It has almost a sci-fi feel to it - and a sullen protagonist who narrates a claustrophobic and grim tale of a man cursed with a vision into the hidden thoughts of those around him.

It's interesting to view this as a slightly gothic-feeling counterpoint to Middlemarch, a book concerned with understanding the inner workings of ordinary people and their often painful actions, whereas here we have a slightly macabre thought experiment into what
Feb 18, 2015 Raelynn rated it it was ok
And once again my major issue with Eliot is that she takes FOREVER to get anywhere. This runs very true in the case of The Lifted Veil. The story of a young, love stricken clairvoyant, Eliot takes us on a coming of age type journey all leading up to the best part of this novella .... the last 3 pages. Don't get me wrong there IS some beautiful bits along the way, such as Eliot's descriptions of Geneva and Prague. One of the things I admire about Eliot is her use of settings that are familiar to ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Phillip rated it liked it
This review is only on The Lifted Veil. I will read the second story in this collection later. That out of the way, let me state that I read this novella because it is assigned in a future graduate class I am taking in the fall on Victorian murders. I have never read George Eliot before, as my impression has always been that she is more aligned with Jane Austen, and I simply cannot stomach either the content or the writing style of Austen. I did read fifty pages of Pride and Prejudice, however, ...more
Sep 19, 2015 Victoria rated it it was ok
The power relation between Latimer and Bertha in Eliot’s "The Lifted Veil" changes throughout the novel. Latimer, a character of profound interiority, and Bertha, a character rooted in exteriority, are the fixtures between which the shifting power relation festers. Bertha's power over Latimer is wielded from her perceived traits of beauty, mystery, and sexuality. Power manifests itself laterally between these two characters. Does Bertha actually wield power over Latimer, or is this power imagine ...more
Dec 15, 2013 Kris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A rather odd pairing of two tales. The first had a romantic Frankenstein-esque feel to it, a kind of prose I like reading, entertaining a suspension of disbelief. It was a nice short little story, gothic and tragic, with a great ending.
I felt The Lifted Veil was better than Brother Jacob, but both are very prose heavy, with only rare spurts of dialogue. Brother Jacob is much more humorous and derisive than The Lifted Veil. The first and second chapters at first seem irreconcilable, appearing to
May 24, 2014 Melike rated it liked it
It was quite interesting to read something like this from the realist writer of the Victorian period.
jenny ☆
kind of saw that plot twist coming, ngl
Nov 21, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Victorian Gothic
Recommended to Laura by: professor
I love Eliot's gritty realism in such works as Mill on the Floss, not to mention her acute perceptions into country life as in Scenes of Clerical Life. Well, I lover her penchant for the mysterious and Gothic even better! The Lifted Veil reads like Mary Shelley and R.L. Stevenson rolled into one; there is so much packed into this short story that I sense several potential term papers stemming from it. Haven't had this much fun with educational reading in a long while!

Hopefully, Brother Jacob wi
Victoria Jackson
Apr 08, 2016 Victoria Jackson rated it really liked it
Interesting story
George Eliot does it again. This is wonderfully creepy and of course brilliantly written. Reading it for class I used two colours of tabs as markers, one for things relevant to the seminar, another just for the bits I particularly liked. The blood transfusion scene is so clear in my mind and so creepy that the pseudo-science of it doesn't even matter.
K' Lati
Feb 29, 2008 K' Lati rated it it was amazing
Latimer is the weak main charecter of the book and can see into his future. He ends up with his brothers fiance after his death and after years of unhappy marrige he finds her plotting his death.

It seems like the moral of the story is that it's not always good to know what's going to happen to you but it can also save your life.
Sue Thornquist
Jul 27, 2010 Sue Thornquist rated it liked it
A nice change from the heavy reading of ROMOLA, though Eliot is never a completely easy read and I enjoyed the literary challenge. I really liked the humor and irony of "Brother Jacob" and "Lifted Veil" reminded me of a Victorian E. A. Poe. Thoroughly worth it though I'm not sure I understand what it all means!
Feb 06, 2013 Wildbanana.kimli rated it really liked it
The illusion of Prague is one of the most beautiful descriptions of a city I have ever read. Incredibly beautiful and sensitive. Even though there are bad things happen in the book, Eliot managed to throw a rosy tone in the narration. Very poetic.
Alyson Bowers
Eliot's short stories are just as great and poignant. Even harder to forget is the way how she depicts Jacob (as trite, and old-fashioned as her deipction of a mentally handicapped person should be) and his central role in the story.
Feb 12, 2012 Pedram rated it liked it
A short story about a man who, despite supposedly able to see his future, cannot avoid it. Explores the limits of realistic fiction with touches if Gothic spookiness.
Jul 19, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Tis about a person doomed to hear other's thoughts. Seemed a metaphor for George Eliot's relentless psychological clairvoyance.
Jun 29, 2007 Katharine rated it it was ok
Shelves: c19
The Lifted Veil is the more gothic and emo than I thought George Eliot could ever be. Interesting, but slight.
Jul 12, 2007 Willow rated it liked it
Shelves: the-canon
The Lifted Veil was very good but Brother Jacob was a little dull and lacked the build-up that Eliot's work normally has.
Feb 02, 2010 Dsbkirkland rated it liked it
Short, fun and spooky. Reluctantly published in its day due to the paranormal subject matter.
Apr 16, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Eliot's excursions into science are frightening in their intensity.
Sep 28, 2009 Carly rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-the-bookclub
for book club. kind of hilariously ineffective second sight.
Jun 14, 2008 Brenda rated it really liked it
Weird. Paranormal stories creep me out.
Sep 03, 2007 Lauren rated it really liked it
cynical story, but really interesting.
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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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