Download George Eliot: An Intellectual Life by Valerie A. Dodd (auth.) PDF

By Valerie A. Dodd (auth.)

There were numerous biographies of George Eliot yet this is often the 1st research to target her highbrow improvement. The e-book offers an research of the biographical and highbrow elements which inspired George Eliot to come to a decision upon fiction as her selected mode of expression, and demonstrates how that call used to be encouraged through, and an echoing of, J.S.Mill's and Carlyle's evaluations of philosophy.

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Sample text

An elite would spread the new gospel, promoting learning and improving man's lot. The distinction between religion and theology was to become common in the nineteenth century: Feuerbach, whose work Marian Evans translated, learnt from this aspect of Saint-Simonianism. 12 Despite an incoherent prose style, and the looseness of his synthesis, Saint-Simon's work aroused much enthusiasm. He was not an active propagandist, but a sceptical Thackeray noticed that the sect which was formed after his death was 'followed by a respectable body of admirers'.

24 Sartor Resartus (1833-4) was, in one respect, an eclectic landmark, in its attempt to reconcile French and German thought: it also applied that reconciliation to comment upon the 1830s. It was, moreover, telling that it was a disguised autobiography, in which philosophical and social problems were 'mirrored in the agonised individual consciousness. Carlyle was, as in the incomplete Wotton 30 George Eliot: An Intellectual Life Reinfred (c. 1826), taking stock of his position, and neo-collectivist Saint-Simonianism made scant impact upon his individualism.

Mill wrote on the French Revolution in August 1833 in the Monthly Repository, whilst Carlyle was reading French history, but Mill's reflections on the Encyclopaedis t tradition were channelled into articles which dealt with issues current in English politicallife. 10 There was also obvious divergence of interests. Carlyle wrote six articles on Goethe in 1832, and still considered that the Germans had made belief possible. Mill's interest in German, which he had learnt in the 1820s and The Personal Debate 37 to which he had returned just before he met Carlyle, revived under the latter's influence, but his bias remained towards the French tradition.

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