by George Eliot


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Romola By George Eliot

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783734061905
Publisher: Outlook Verlag
Publication date: 09/27/2019
Pages: 526
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 1.17(d)

About the Author

George Eliot (1819-1880)

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 poem. Through a family friend, she was exposed to Charles Hennell's An Inquiry into the Origins of Christianity. Unable to believe, she conscientiously gave up religion and stopped attending church. Her father shunned her, sending the broken-hearted young dependent to live with a sister until she promised to reexamine her feelings.

Her intellectual views did not, however, change. She translated David Strauss' Das Leben Jesu, a monumental task, without signing her name to the 1846 work. After her father's death in 1849, Mary Ann traveled, then accepted an unpaid position with The Westminster Review. Despite a heavy workload, she translated Ludwig Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity, the only book ever published under her real name. That year, the shy, respectable writer scandalized British society by sending notices to friends announcing she had entered a free "union" with George Henry Lewes, editor of The Leader, who was unable to divorce his first wife.

They lived harmoniously together for the next 24 years, but suffered social ostracism and financial hardship. She became salaried and began writing essays and reviews for The Westminster Review. Renaming herself "Marian" in private life and adopting the nom de plume "George Eliot," she began her impressive fiction career, including: Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1863), and Middlemarch (1871). Themes included her humanist vision and strong heroines. Her poem, "O May I Join the Choir Invisible" expressed her views about non-supernatural immortality: "O may I join the choir invisible/ Of those immortal dead who live again/ In minds made better by their presence. . ." D. 1880.

Her 1872 work Middlemarch has been described by Martin Amis and Julian Barnes as the greatest novel in the English language.

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Excerpted from "Romola"
by .
Copyright © 1997 George Eliot.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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ROMOLA (15th CENTURY FLORENCE) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Corner_of_the_Library More than 1 year ago
Romola (pronounced RO-ma-la) is set in Florence beginning in the year 1492. On one level it is a love story, telling of the relationship between Romola, who has spent all her life in Florence, and Tito, a Greek who arrives in Florence on the day Lorenzo de' Medici has died. For those going to Florence, this is a book to be read in the city, if one is there long enough. Chapters read at night can be visualized as one walks in the city the next day. The history of Florence of 500 plus years ago comes alive in this marvelous book. Savonarola and his influence are central to the plot. Romola witnesses his Bonfire of the Vanities as she struggles with the changes being manifest in her beloved city. If read on returning from a visit to Florence, Romola will bring back to the reader the marvel of the city and its art treasures. A book for all who love the city of Florence.
Anonymous 3 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this a lovely read, full of striking imagery and an almost lyrical feel. Yes, the central characters are largely Victorian stereotypes, especially Romola herself, but sonehow this did not bother me due to the sheer quality of the writing. I also like anything set in Rinascimento Italy, so that was a winner for me also.
Poquette on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Romola was a tremendous undertaking ¿ both to write and to read. As historical novels go, it is one of a kind. In telling the story, Eliot provides a crash course in Florentine history circa 1492. In fact, she filled several notebooks (one of which is in my collection) preparatory to writing it. Come to find out, 1492 was significant for more than one reason ¿ to the Florentines, at least ¿ the other reason being the death of Lorenzo de Medici, ¿the Magnificent.¿ His death initiated a period of political uncertainty in Florence which included many dramatic events such as an invasion by the French King Charles VIII in 1494, a period of plague and the rise and fall of Savonarola. These events are played out in high relief against the remarkable story of Romola, the heroin who showed all the outward signs of saintliness without actually being one.My edition (Modern Library Classics) is excellent for the introduction and notes, which are indispensible for the modern reader who may be unfamiliar with Florentine history. Many people find notes to be off-putting. I do not.While I enjoyed Romola very much, I dare not recommend it because it is ¿ you must be warned ¿ heavy going, perhaps not everyone¿s cup of tea. But if you have a taste for the Renaissance and George Eliot, I say, give it a go. It is a painless way to absorb plenteous information about the Florentine Renaissance. At least the introductory proem should not be missed ¿ a prose poem that presents Eliot at the height of her literary powers.
JuandeBeret on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
....mmmmm....odd little book, this. Unlike her other masterpieces, Silas Marner, Adam Bede and Mill on the Floss, Mary Anne Evans here delves into 15th Cent. Florentine history and, quote, puts her best blood, unquote, into this fault-filled work of art. Takes some getting used to but well worth the effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge George Eliot Fan and this was a very nice cheap digital edition of Romola. The difference between this Barnes & Noble Digital Library Edition and the regular Barnes & Noble classics edition (which also come in paperback) is that these Digital Library Edition versions do not come with the extra essays and literary criticism/interpretations that the other classics/paperback editions contain. If you're just looking for the text of the book itself, this is an excellent cheaper option from Barnes & Noble, and also has the LendMe function. (While Middlemarch is my favorite George Eliot novel, I still would give any of her novels a 5 star).
lit-in-the-last-frontier More than 1 year ago
Let me first say that there is much to love here. Truly! The first fifty or so pages felt interminable, but once past that point the book becomes a veritable page turner. Eliot crafts a fascinating, first-rate historical fiction plot based in Florence, Italy, from the death of Lorenzo de' Medici (in 1492), through the time of Savonarola's influence, and culminating in an epilogue placed in 1509. In the midst of this tumultuous social situation is placed our heroine, Romola. The daughter of a scholar, Romola herself is very well educated for a woman of her time. This novel follows Romola through six complex post-de'Medici years of Florentine politics, further inflamed by the preachings of Savonarola, a Dominican friar. As the plot swells in complexity, the gentle woman transitions from being her father's daughter, to her husband's wife, to a woman meeting life head on with a dignity of her own merit. Possessed of a fast moving, labyrinthine plot, this novel, despite its length of just over 600 pages, keeps up a taut pace until the very end. As might be expected in a novel named after a character, this one, despite the enticing plot, is very rooted in its performers. Romola is a central figure, but by no means the only one. Eliot pulls some of her players direct from the history books and some from her imagination, but each and every one of them feels so genuine that it is difficult to know which really lived and breathed and which only ever lived within her pages. This is the type of book that has you googling purely imaginative personages-because they are portrayed with such authenticity. Florence of the late fifteenth century is very well depicted: the pageantry of her holidays (including a fantastic description of Savonarola's Bonfire of the Vanities); the dress, habits, and occupations of her various classes; and the architectural details of her stone edifices. As you wander the streets with the novel's inhabitants you are drawn into her neighborhoods, with their chaos, aromas, and idiosyncrasies. So why a relatively low three star rating? Because the prose is so dense that it left me wallowing somewhere between philosophy text and nineteenth century history tome. For some reason, I had to work exceptionally hard to remain focused on reading the words themselves and concentrate with that little bit of extra grey matter to wrap my mind around what exactly was being expressed. Was it worth it? Well, yes, as my clear admiration for the book's merits shows; however, I can not say that I "really liked" (four stars) or "loved" (five stars) a book which required so much effort. So, three stars, a simple "liked" verdict, it is for this work. This is definitely not a book for someone unused to literature of the Victorian era, as, in my opinion, this novel is some of the least accessible writing from that time frame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago