Back ground on the age
The nineteenth century is known as the Victorian age. It was the period of queen Victoria’s era which started from 1837 until her death in 1901. It was a complex era . There are many events which helped to mould its way of life and thought .
First of all, as a result of the Industrial Revolution England was transformed from a rural and agricultural nation into an industrial and urban nation . The thing which affect the social ,cultural and economic aspects of life . The writers began to concentrate their interest on man rather than society .
Second, the effect of the French Revolution .since the radical thinkers were attracted by the call for equality ,liberty and fraternity .Third, an important phenomenon which characterized that century was the clash between science and religion . Such conflict shocked man’s belief and there was intendancy towards scepticism . Fourth, an important characteristic of the age is that literature both in prose and poetry seems to depart from the purely artistic standard of art for art sake and to be actuated by a definite moral purpose . The novel sought to find truth and to show how it might be used to uplift humanity . For this reason the Victorian Age is an age of realism a deeper realism which strives to tell the truth ; showing moral and physical diseases as they are .
George Eliot was the pen-name chosen by Mary Anne (or Marian) Evans . She was born on November 22,1819 in war wick shire . Mary Anne was the youngest of five children . She was afforded the privileges of a private education . She enjoyed books and learning from a young age . Unfortunately , Mary Anne was forced to leave school at age of 19 ,when her mother died in early 1839. Her father continued to indulge her love of learning . She was her father’s house keeper and she spent her lonely years educating herself she made herself “a woman of wide and varied scholarship”.
In 1841, Mary Anne’s father moved them to the larger town of Foleshill . Mary Anne became acquainted with the family of Charles Bray ,a free thinker. Mary began to renounce her faith in Christianity ,which cause distance between Mary Anne and her father . MR, Evans died in 1849 ,leaving Mary Anne little money in his will.
Through the Brays ,Mary Anne met John Chapman ,a publisher and bookseller from London. Chapman and Mary Anne became good friends and he asked Marry Anne to become the behind-the-scenes editor for The Westminster review . Mary Anne worked at the review for two years . In 1851, Mary Anne met George Henry Lewes , a journalist , whose marriage was ruined but for whom divorce was impossible . In 1854, she went to Germany with him and for twenty-four years lived openly as his wife . Through his encouragement at the age of 37 she began to write fiction . Mary Evans transformation into the fiction writer George Eliot began in 1856 when Mary Anne decided to try her hand at writing novels . In 1858,George Eliot’s second novel , Adam Bede , became a critical and popular success; soon after , George Eliot’s identity as Mary Anne ‘leaves’
became known . Though this disclosure did not threaten her writing career , she was forced to put up with an increasing amount of personal criticism as her literary fame as George Eliot grew.
George Eliot’s stories reveal her intimate knowledge of country life and interests. In her stories she often stressed the relationship and “the beginning nature of promises between husbands and wives” . The theme of her novels are varied and distinctive .Her life was “one of struggles and painful experiences” . George Eliot , with increasing skill , continued the subtle probing of human motives that leads many modern critics to regard her as the greatest novelist of the nineteenth century .
Mary Anne ,George Eliot , never recovered from the shock of Lewes’s death . Two years later she married John walter cross , but died in the same year 1880.
The works of George Eliot
References: : Methuen (1967). Study-aids Notes on ADAM BEDE, London:
Methuen & Co. LTD
Oxford world’s Classics
www. cliffs notes .com
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