George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals - Vol. 1

George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals - Vol. 1

George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals - Vol. 1

George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals - Vol. 1

Excerpt

With the materials in my hands I have endeavored to form an autobiography (if the term may be permitted) of George Eliot. The life has been allowed to write itself in extracts from her letters and journals. Free from the obtrusion of any mind but her own, this method serves, I think, better than any other open to me, to show the development of her intellect and character.

In dealing with the correspondence I have been influenced by the desire to make known the woman, as well as the author, through the presentation of her daily life.

On the intellectual side there remains little to be learned by those who already know George Eliot's books. In the twenty volumes which she wrote and published in her lifetime will be found her best and ripest thoughts. The letters now published throw light on another side of her nature--not less important, but hitherto unknown to the public--the side of the affections.

The intimate life was the core of the root from which sprung the fairest flowers of her inspiration. Fame came to her late in life, and, when it presented itself, was so weighted with the sense of responsibility that it was in truth a rose with many thorns, for George Eliot had the temperament that shrinks from the position of a public character. The belief in the wide, and I may add in the beneficent, effect of her writing was no doubt the highest . . .

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