Despite her "magnificently ugly, deliciously hideous" (in the words of Henry James) looks, George Eliot's love life was quite prosperous—enough so to become the basis of Maddox's compelling new book. Though interested in many men, Eliot nonetheless dryly defends herself: "In spite of what some caustic people say, I fall not in love with everyone." Dreading a life spent alone, Eliot meets George Henry Lewes, a small man "whose charm outshone his ugliness" (there seems to be a theme) and who would later be credited as the man "who gave the world George Eliot." While Lewes was the "love of her life," he—already married and with multiple children—was not the best suitor. Through extensive research, Maddox crafts an intimate look at Eliot's life through her romantic relationships, transporting readers to Victorian England and all the trappings—its exquisite literature, scandalous affairs, and maladies aplenty—in an occasionally plodding look at Eliot's life. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 12/06/2010 Release date: 09/01/2010 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.