Daniel Deronda

By George Eliot; Graham Handley | Go to book overview

NOTE ON THE TEXT

The manuscript of Daniel Deronda is in the British Library ( Add. MS 34039-42). It is bound up into four volumes, the first leaf of Volume One containing a dedication to George Henry Lewes. The three editions published in George Eliot's lifetime are available to the editor. For the first ( Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, eight Parts (Books), February-September 1876) George Eliot corrected page proofs. These are at the Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, though proof for the last four chapters has never been found. After completion of publication in monthly Parts, those over were bound up into four volumes. A cheaper reprint in four volumes without corrections was issued in December 1876. The second edition in one volume was published in October 1877, and for this George Eliot made a few corrections. The third or Cabinet edition ( 3 vols., December 1878) contains a number of alterations, mainly in the Jewish sections of the novel. Her letters to William Blackwood prior to the publication of the Cabinet edition mention her corrected 'copy' of Daniel Deronda, and this would suggest that the alterations were made from the single volume (second) edition of 1877. The first edition, collated with the manuscript and the second and third editions, was used as the copy-text for the Clarendon edition ( Oxford, 1984) and for this World's Classics edition. Important instances where the manuscript reading or that of either of the other two editions is preferred to that of the first edition are given in the explanatory notes. The most common emendations are the spelling of words in -ise. George Eliot, like Dickens and others of her great contemporaries, spelt apologize, idealize, neutralize, and others with a z. In 1847 Blackwood adopted the -ise style and altered George Eliot's spelling to conform. Though the Oxford English Dictionary sanctioned -ize as correct, its quotations represent George Eliot and others as using the -ise form, which they never did. Following the Clarendon edition, this text restores George Eliot's spelling where it conforms to that of the Oxford English Dictionary. In addition, a few of George Eliot's distinctive spellings like doat, undrest, and stopt have been retained.

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