The otherness of George Eliot

K.M. Newton

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Certain assumptions tend to come into play when George Eliot is discussed which significantly influence how she is regarded as an author and how her writing is interpreted. The main assumption is that at the beginning of her writing career she was a rationalist in an Enlightenment tradition, sympathetic to liberal ideas, but later reverted to a more conservative mindset. This has led to accusations that the decisions she made in her life were incoherent; at the very least she was lukewarm on feminist issues; was opposed to significant political reform; held some objectionable views in relation to class and race. This article suggests that such views of Eliot do not take into account her otherness as a thinker and intellectual who cannot be accommodated within conventional paradigms, and illustrates that by considering three aspects of her, focusing mainly on her non-fictional writing because it gives more direct access to her thought: the choices she made in her personal life; her social and political thinking; and her position on the Jewish question.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages26
    JournalTextual Practice
    Early online date21 Oct 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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