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message 1: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 03, 2011 01:47PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I have changed the name of this thread and will start another for the book discussion.


message 2: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 03, 2011 04:40AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) You may try, but you cannot imagine what it is to have a man's force of genius in you, and to suffer the slavery of being a girl.” These words are spoken by a character in Daniel Deronda, a novel written by George Eliot in 1876. “Slavery” is a strong word - but it captures clearly the way many women felt about their position in Victorian times. It must be remembered this was 30 years before the Suffragettes started their fight for women's right to vote, and 50 years before it was achieved. At that time it was almost impossible for women to get their writings published. Marian Evans therefore took the same course
as the Bronte sisters had done and used a male pen-name, George Eliot, in order to get
her work before the public.

She already knew the power of male domination from her family experience. Her father
held very strong religious views and great tensions arose when, as a young woman, she
started to question his narrow, dogmatic beliefs and refused to attend church every
Sunday. She was influenced by learning about Unitarianism, and went on to read widely
in science, philosophy and literature, and to translate some influential writings on religion,
including David Friedrich Strauss’s critical Life of Jesus and Ludwig Feurbach’s Essence
of Christianity. Darwin's writings immediately attracted her and she found his explanations
of evolution convincing. She became a journalist and met many of the leading thinkers of
the day such as John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer. She thought deeply about morality
and ethics, and about the claims of religion to help people in this respect. This led her to
follow for a time 'The Religion of Humanity', an ethical way of life that was not based on
supernatural belief, developed by Augustus Comte.

She wrote:

“The old religion said 'Heaven help us!' Our new one, from its very lack of that faith in a
heaven, will teach us all the more to help one another.”

In conversation she once exclaimed:

“God, Immortality, Duty … how inconceivable the first, how unbelievable the second, and
yet how peremptory and absolute the third.”

She always remained interested in religion, but she rejected its more dogmatic and rigid
elements and her writings explore the possibility of goodness without god in an essentially humanist way. People from all walks of life wrote to her for guidance on how “to live a
good life in a godless universe.” A typical piece of her advice was: “Wear a smile and
make friends; wear a scowl and make wrinkles. What do we live for if not to make the
world less difficult for each other.”

She said of her books: “If art does not enlarge men’s sympathies it does nothing morally,”
Mh and she hoped her readers “would be better able to imagine and to feel the pains and
joy of those who differ from themselves in everything but the broad fact of being
struggling, erring human creatures.”

Understanding and helping one another was a theme that ran through the many
successful books that she wrote, novels that retain their popularity today 150 years after
she wrote them, and which find new audiences when they are dramatised on TV and
radio. Her books include The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Adam Bede,
and Daniel Deronda. They explore themes which include the interdependence of all
human beings, the search for values to live by in a confusing and changing world, and
the difficulties and frustrations of being a woman in the nineteenth century. Though
George Eliot was an independent and intelligent woman who earned her own living, she
was not a feminist in the modern sense of the word; she believed that women belonged
at home, doing good in the world in small domestic ways. Middlemarch ends with the
author’s comment on the life of her heroine, Dorothea: “…the growing good of the world
is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as
they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and
rest in unvisited tombs.”

When she was 34 years old, she found herself faced with a difficult ethical decision. She
and writer George Lewes fell in love, but his wife had deserted him and he could not
obtain a divorce. She was therefore unable to marry him. Although the very narrow and
intolerant social attitudes of those days would result in her being socially ostracised as a
“fallen woman”, they lived together as husband and wife until he died 25 years later.

You may see why Professor C B Cox chose to call the book he wrote about her The Free
Spirit. A more recent biography of her by Kathryn Hughes is called George Eliot: the Last
Victorian (1998). The contrasting titles seem to sum up well the life of this complex,
intelligent woman.


I know this is a bit anti climatic, but it was an interesting article on Eliot and does explain a bit of her background and thinking. it came from the British Humanistic Society.


message 3: by Mickey (last edited Nov 03, 2011 07:06AM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments There are some parts of this article that I'm not sure are entirely accurate. With writers, you have to be careful about the sources of the information, because many organizations will try to 'incorporate' them as patron saints. Or they'll use them to prove a point. You have to really differentiate what the purpose of the article is. Is it informative or persuasive?

This article's motive is to make George Eliot out to be a humanist. I don't agree that her works champion a humanist perspective. There were good characters that have no religion as well as others who were religious. She did not pick a male pseudonym because it was difficult to get published as a woman. There were plenty of successful female novelists at the time. In fact, she wrote an article titled "Silly Novels by Lady Novelists". The reason she wanted to use a male name was because she wanted her work to be taken seriously. (This is still a concern. In modern times, both J.K. Rowling and S.E. Hinton 'hid' their sex by using their initials in order to be accceptable to young males and not to be pigeon-holed as writing 'books for girls'.) I think the article sends the same incorrect message that women had no power to decide things in Victorian times. Not to mention, this is a very short article to brand someone a humanist, a non-feminist, and a victim.

I hate to feel like I'm constantly questioning every time someone cites an article, but, being a teacher, I understand the limitations of authority. Just because it is in an article does not make it true or accurate, so it's always important to not accept the information as gospel truth.


message 4: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 03, 2011 09:16AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I will try to keep that in mind, Mickey. I, too was a teacher and I did do some research before I cited this piece and most of it is authentic. Authentic as we know it since Eliot is not here to tell of its veracity.

I do remember when reading Eliot in high school, that our literature teacher stressed how "differently and somewhat oppressed" women were not only in Victorian times but even to today. She was very clear that Eliot did not use her real name because of her sex and her want of all sexes to read her, especially the men. I do feel that this is so. I know they are
not Victorian, but look at Austen and then later the Bronte sisters who of course are....
There was certainly not a glut of female authors then as we see now and perhaps the
constraints of Victorian society had something to do with that.

It was true that she lived with a man for many years, quite the revolutionary in her time
and that she did marry an American

Baring all that, I think we can all agree that she was an extremely intelligent woman who
did make her mark on the world of Victorian literature as well as its notions of the place of
females. I guess many groups today would be proud to have her as a member and claim
her ideas,concepts, and way of life as their own.


message 5: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 44 comments Marialyce wrote: "I did do some research before I cited this piece and most of it is authentic. Authentic as we know it since Eliot is not here to tell of its veracity."

What sort of research did you do to authenticate the views in this article? The best source for what Eliot thought is found in her books, because that is not filtered through someone else's agendas. Even articles that talk about her books and even quote her books (like the one here) are problematic. This article starts with a quote from Daniel's mother, but I think it's used here as if Daniel's mother is a mouthpiece for Eliot. The portrayal of Eliot's writing as humanistic and being boiled down to 'people helping other people' and advice about smiling to make friends makes her seem like some Victorian Miss Manners. I don't think anyone who has read even one book of George Eliot's can possibly think of this as an accurate portrayal.

Marialyce wrote: "She was very clear that Eliot did not use her real name because of her sex and her want of all sexes to read her, especially the men. I do feel that this is so. I know they are
not Victorian, but look at Austen and then later the Bronte sisters who of course are....
There was certainly not a glut of female authors then as we see now and perhaps the
constraints of Victorian society had something to do with that."


Then you're agreeing that the article was mistaken when it said that Eliot used a male pseudonym in order to get published? There were more women authors than the ones that are remembered (so, beyond Austen and the Brontes). I think the idea of powerless women in Victorian times is much overexaggerated. After all, the age is named after a reigning queen, who was one of the most powerful people in the world. The idea that women had no choices is an oversimplification.

Marialyce wrote: "It was true that she lived with a man for many years, quite the revolutionary in her time and that she did marry an American "

I don't know if you could call living with a man 'revolutionary'. Women have been living with men they haven't been married to since the dawn of time. It certainly wasn't respectable in her time, but I wouldn't say it was revolutionary. But it seems to me that this focus on her domestic life actually distorts our idea of George Eliot the writer. We place her in the 'radical' category and develop an idea about her based on her marital status that doesn't have anything to do with her ideas and views on things. I don't believe she believed in radical ideas and this is pretty widely accepted. For instance, feminists don't accept her as a feminist writer because she wouldn't write things from that perspective.


message 6: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 03, 2011 10:47AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Mickey, I am not going to argue with you over the semantics used by others to discuss what made Eliot tick.

I would think all biographers put a spin onto their writing. Of course they would want to convince the reader as to their pov.

Since Eliot did not write her own autobiography, I think we need to look at what others have written and what scholars have said. That is true of all famous people who do not
leave behind memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, etc.

You might be,( but I am sure you are not), asking us to disbelieve all that ever has been
written about anyone. For how does anyone know the inner workings of someone else's
mind except the person themselves.

I really think we need to get back to speaking of the book and might move this topic to a
separate thread if there is interest in doing so.


message 7: by Mickey (last edited Nov 03, 2011 12:38PM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments I'm not trying to argue with you, Marialyce. I was giving my views on an article about George Eliot that you introduced into the thread. I don't understand how that's off topic to the point that we might need to move it to another thread. If you don't think it's proper to talk about George Eliot here, why would you copy the article?

Of course, I'm not saying that we should not read articles about writers, but you do have to be wary. Look for the reason why it's being written and not rely on it as an authority simply because it's on the internet or in a book. There are too many inaccuracies and contradictions to just accept what anyone writes about someone else, particularly if we have access to the person's own words (their books).

George Eliot was remarkably erudite and had the habit of 'interfering' quite a bit in her narratives. She wrote whole chapters on her views of characterization. She wrote essays. Why would we need an interpreter to understand her? If we want to know about her views and ideas, why would we not go to her books first?


message 8: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 03, 2011 04:33PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Henry James called her hideously ugly, but James also admitted that George Eliot, whose real name was Mary Anne Evans, was so intelligent that he couldn’t help but fall in love with her.

Looking at her pictures, she was not a very attractive woman.....

When Eliot’s first novel, Adam Bede, became a success, several men claimed to have written the book. Eliot was forced to come forward as the rightful author.
When the reading public discovered that Eliot was a woman, they didn’t know whether to condemn her for being an arrogant woman who thought she could write...or praise her for writing so well.
For over thirty years, Eliot lived with philosopher George Henry Lewes, although they never married and Lewes already had a wife.
It has been suggested that Herbert Spencer, a famed British philosopher, had an affair with Eliot and then broke up with her. Afterward, he wrote an essay on the repugnancy of ugly women. All of Eliot’s friends knew whom he was writing about.
British author Virginia Woolf said that Eliot’s Middlemarch was the first novel written for grown-ups.

All of these facts could not be ascertained by reading Eliot's books. It is
only through reading the words of others that a small portrait of her can be ascertained.


message 9: by Mickey (last edited Nov 03, 2011 05:00PM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments But don't you think these are just details and gossip? Don't you find her books more interesting than if she were ugly or with whom she was sleeping?


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I am one who likes to know from whence a person has come. It makes, at least for me, the words more meaningful, the tone more cogent, and the book more relevant if I can see the human side of an author. I then know that they have lived the life they write of and have walked that mile of which they speak. It makes me appreciate their writing more. It makes me feel as if they are one with me.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Right this minute, Mickey? No, her books aren't more interesting. Fortunately I have only about 70 pages left of Daniel Deronda.(Yes, I liked Middlemarch.)


message 12: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 44 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Right this minute, Mickey? No, her books aren't more interesting. Fortunately I have only about 70 pages left of Daniel Deronda.(Yes, I liked Middlemarch.)"

I don't understand this. You find that fact that she was considered ugly more interesting than her writing? Why would you even read something that boring to you? What's the point?


Elizabeth (Alaska) I had gotten far enough that I'd reached the point of no return. I'm quite capable of putting a book aside, but I chose to finish this one. Why do you ask?


message 14: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 44 comments @Marialyce,

I would say that you get to know a writer more intimately by reading their work.

I find the other stuff a bit too middle school to interest me. It's about image, and a lot of it is faulty. (For instance, the idea that Eliot was a radical or a revolutionary because she lived with a man out of wedlock. I think you get a clearer idea of what she is like from reading her works than from stereotypes associated with someone 'living in sin'.)

A good writer should be able to depict all sorts of characters, whether they are like the writer or not, and I think Eliot definately can do that.

Thinking about it, I rarely will read a biography of a writer. I'll read them about musicians and painters, but unless a writer lives in a politically turbulent time (like Pasternak or Solzhenitsyn), I'm not interested. I think I would find more of who they are from their writing than descriptions of when this happened or who was there.


message 15: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 44 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I had gotten far enough that I'd reached the point of no return. I'm quite capable of putting a book aside, but I chose to finish this one. Why do you ask?"

If it were as uninteresting as that, you would stop.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Not at all. How a person is perceived by the society in which she finds herself can give her perspective different from another. Knowing this fact about her adds, rather than detracts, from understanding what she wrote.


message 17: by Mickey (last edited Nov 03, 2011 07:02PM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments It can also distort. Which was my point.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I think you may have misunderstood what I said. Each of us is shaped by our own personal experience. And our own personal experience will be put into the efforts we extend from ourselves. We can't help it, it is part of the human experience. If how society views us distorts our view of society, that is part of us. Try as we might we cannot divorce ourselves from it.


message 19: by Mickey (last edited Nov 03, 2011 07:43PM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments To put it less abstractly, so that it can be comprehended, let's use Daniel's mother as an example. She was shaped by rebelling against what her society viewed as natural for a woman. (Basically, a woman should be content with being submissive and caring for her family by being a good daughter, wife and mother.) This image of her as a defective woman for wanting something different was internalized by her, so that she began defining herself the same way. It eventually colored the way she felt about all feminine attributes as not applying to her and also made her harsher and less empathetic. Is this what you meant? If not, you'll have to use less vague terms. 'Our personal experience will be put into the efforts we extend from ourselves' is way too broad.

I think a person's reputation can also be just plain wrong, though, as I've stated with the Eliot as a revolutionary message. I'm sure she's been called immoral for the situation, yet, when you read her books, you know that she is concerned with morals and consequences. I believe that what a person writes is closer to their true selves than what their neighbor thinks of them. It's, again, a question of filtering. There is no person between me and a writer when I read their work. If I read criticism of her work or a biography of her, I have less of a direct connection. I also can go to the core of a person's thinking when she is writing.


message 20: by Lily (last edited Nov 03, 2011 07:45PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Are you all getting into the postmodern arguments about the extent to which literature is or is not, should be or should not be, understandable totally independent of its author?


message 21: by Mickey (last edited Nov 03, 2011 07:48PM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments I don't think so, Lily. I think we're discussing whether biographical information is more interesting/informative than the literature.

Do the postmoderns have a view on that?


Elizabeth (Alaska) Actually, I thought we were talking about whether Eliot being ugly was of interest. I dont' see how that is abstract at all. I think it's entirely possible that it gave her more of an opportunity to observe people. I know you like Eliot, and you're certainly entitled to your opinions, but that doesn't mean we all share them.


message 23: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 44 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Actually, I thought we were talking about whether Eliot being ugly was of interest. I dont' see how that is abstract at all."

I was saying your post was too abstract, Elizabeth.
This, in particular:

Each of us is shaped by our own personal experience. And our own personal experience will be put into the efforts we extend from ourselves. We can't help it, it is part of the human experience. If how society views us distorts our view of society, that is part of us. Try as we might we cannot divorce ourselves from it.

That needed an example or two to ground it to make your point clear. Was I close with the Daniel's mother example or not?


message 24: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Mickey wrote: "Do the postmoderns have a view on that?"

Probably, but that was not what I was asking about nor how I perceived the discussion that was occurring. I thought it was about how/whether biographical information impacted understanding the story. Sorry.


message 25: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 44 comments As far as biographical information impacting on the story, I think the problem would be that no character there is considered to be really autobiographical. Also, the themes do not lend themselves to what is generally known about her. I can see how you could make a discussion about The Mill on the Floss, but not this book.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Mickey wrote: "@Marialyce,

I would say that you get to know a writer more intimately by reading their work.

I find the other stuff a bit too middle school to interest me. It's about image, and a lot of it ..."


I never said she lived in sin. Now you are putting your own spin onto it in a way. I also did not say she could not depict all types of characters.

Let's take for instance her depiction of Daniel and Mirah, and Moedecai, and the Jewish element. I believed her because I knew she had a relationship with Emmanuel ( yes, not a sexual one). Her details about the Jewish faith were correct if you may, because she had that life experience. How dull would she or any writer have been without life's hard knocks and good times. Life has made the writer, that and of course a gift for the prose. To separate the two would be like advocating we put authors in a box and never let them out.

How fo you view modern authors? How do you understand a Vonnegut (slaughterhouse Five for example) without knowing his past. It enhances the reading, it makes the author's goals meaningful, it often brings the reader to that moment of understanding....this person shared a life experience with me, they know, they understand, I know, I understand.

You will never convince me that reading just an author's words is enough. One should know the person they admire, they read. I can't imagine reading without knowing.


message 27: by Mickey (last edited Nov 04, 2011 03:03AM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments I think my problem with a reliance on biographical material is that there is a tendency for people to pigeonhole others in a way that is not accurate. This is the same with articles. There is a 'summing up' of a person's life and work that concludes with someone going, 'Okay, I know that person now.' For instance, if you believed that article at the beginning of this thread, you would have an (erroneous) impression of the sort of writer Eliot was without taking the time to read her books. It's a shortcut that people employ with good writers.

Modern writers are a great example. Some give interviews, but they are never very extensive. You get to know them through their work. If you were to give me the choice of reading a person's work or reading a biography about a person's life, I would go with the work, because I would find it more informative. I don't consider it 'knowing' a person to collect little tidbits about them. I would say that I know Eliot in a deeper way reading her work than if I were to read a hundred articles about her from other people.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything, although I do think you need to look closer at the material you bring here as informative and make sure it's as accurate as possible.


message 28: by Lily (last edited Nov 04, 2011 07:53AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Mickey wrote: "...I'm not trying to convince you of anything, although I do think you need to look closer at the material you bring here as informative and make sure it's as accurate as possible...."

That's probably a reasonable expectation of any of us. On the other hand, we are not participating in something like the Bible Society responsible for the next translation of that great book. (Which, from all I have ever read about it, for all its attempted scholastic rigor, also has some processes not without severe vulnerabilities.) It seems to me that so long as we make reasonably clear our sources and stay open to the feedback of others, we approach a due diligence appropriate to these discussions.

Personally, I vacillate between interest in an author and historical knowledge and just plain immersion in the text itself. I don't see the topic as an either/or one. To me, part of the fun of these discussions is that there is enough diversity among us as readers/moderators that often the discussion encompasses both.

For me, this discussion on Daniel Deronda has been rather like listening to a Great Courses lecture on a book that I haven't [yet?] read.


message 29: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Mickey wrote: "As far as biographical information impacting on the story, I think the problem would be that no character there is considered to be really autobiographical. Also, the themes do not lend themselves ..."

Well, certainly a story or character need not be autobiographical to be impacted by the biography of its author.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Anna, I think I can see where the author is coming from. I certainly am not an authority on Eliot, but from the two books I have read, I have found her writing at times tedious and I do become weary reading her prose.

In DD, most of the characters, at times made me weary and tired of their presence in the novel. I felt they were either too good or too bad. Of course this is my opinion only as I am sure there are others who find her not at all tedious.

Funny and enlightening is how we all see different authors. I think that is why we seem to enjoy our time with them even if we do not like their offerings.


message 31: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 44 comments I'm not sure I would call the primary emotion for Eliot's work weariness. It depends on what sort of definition that the author of the article uses. I think Eliot always wrote with a lot of maturity, which includes an understanding and acceptance of how people really are. Idealists and hopeful people in her books sometimes become disillusioned, especially in love, but I don't think that it was a sign of any sort of cynicism (or weariness) on Eliot's part.

One of the things that always impressed me about Eliot is her range. Although she stuck with realism, she could write humor (Daniel Deronda), romance (The Mill on the Floss), or inspirational (Silas Marner). Most writers, I think, have a distinctive style and worldview that their characters move through (I'm thinking about Poe and Graham Greene for examples). I think Eliot's view is just too broad to categorize as having a certain worldview or mood. Daniel's story ends on a high, hopeful note and there are others examples as well.

I've never felt weary reading George Eliot or found one of her characters wearisome. I think she requires a lot of attention, which means you have to be ready to read her.

The only interfaith marriage that I remember was between Herr Klesmer and Miss Arrowpoint. They were too minor to really contribute much to the story. (Although I thought their courtship was another piece of evidence of Eliot's talent at romantic writing, if she would follow the guidelines of that genre, which she wouldn't.)


message 32: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments Anna said "a primary emotion" in GE's work not "the primary emotion for" GE's work. Quite different things. I didn't read the work for the current discussion, but there are tones in Middlemarch that make the work difficult to read - perhaps falling somewhere within the weariness pointed out by the essayist.


message 33: by Mickey (last edited Nov 08, 2011 12:16PM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments Anna wrote: "The author of the article was discussing weariness in the novel as a defining or organizing emotion that characterizes human relationships to others and the to the self."

I thought you were pretty clear the first time around, Anna. Is the author simply talking about Middlemarch or is he/she making a statement about George Eliot's books in general? Because, as I've said, I don't think weariness is the prevailing emotion in several of her other books. No other Eliot book features weariness as a main theme. (Well, Felix Holt might; I haven't read it yet.)

George Eliot is definately not an author that you can give half your attention to. I can't read her at work because I can't give her my full attention, and there are times that I'll pick up the other book I'm reading because I need something lighter. But I think that Eliot is undeniably one of the most intelligent and insightful writers I've ever read and I think that any time spent reading her is well worth it.


message 34: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments I respect your opinion of Eliot, and agree with your emphasizing attentiveness when reading her work. I find readers here in Victorians to be seasoned readers who have tackled many a challenging book, from the discussions I see in group, so the attentiveness aspect may not come into play when discussing our preferences and the ways the work is accepted.


message 35: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 44 comments @SarahC,

Was the last post addressed to me?


message 36: by Mickey (last edited Nov 09, 2011 02:51AM) (new)

Mickey | 44 comments @Anna,

I don't think that Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda share the same themes. George Eliot is not one of those writers that write the same novel a dozen times or has a main message that every book is just a variation of that theme. In fact, I think that Eliot has a much wider range regarding theme and general mood than the average author. What unifies her work is her writing style and her adherence to her particular brand of realism. She's pretty consistent in those areas.


Personally, I've read only one work by Trollope. It was for a book club and the only lasting impression I have of him is one of indifference. So, I'm not really a good candidate to compare the two authors' fun factors. I would probably use the word 'pleasure' than 'fun' when talking about Eliot's work. There is a distinct pleasure when reading Eliot, but I don't think reading her is 'fun'. I think there is a maturity you have to have before fully enjoying her. It's like the difference between Godiva chocolates and pixie sticks.

I don't think that Eliot intentionally makes her writing challenging in order to highlight the issues in her books. I think complexity is part of who she was as a writer. If she had to re-write Little Red Riding Hood, I have no doubt we would get so far into the natures of every character in the story that most people would no longer recognize the simple plot. Her works are challenging because the depth in the characters and the development of the theme are so much more intricate than what is usual. I find it difficult to reduce her books to their plots, because that's not where she really shines.

I didn't think you were implying that Eliot wasn't worth reading. I was expressing my own views and opinions at that time as a fan of her books.


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