editor of the Cornhill, a compromise was struck: Romola would be published in 12 parts of 32 pages each commencing in July 1862. George Eliot's fee was reduced to £7,000 for which Smith also acquired a seven-year exclusive right to publish the novel in book form when the serialization was completed.

When George Eliot accepted Smith's revised offer for .Romola in May 1861 she had written only eight chapters--enough for just one-and-a-half of the 12 parts specified in the agreement, though the book was scheduled to begin publication within two months. Clearly, the paralysing doubts and delays had to be put behind her. Indeed, it may be that this pressing practical obligation was exactly what she needed. The contract was signed, and public announcements made in the press; now she had to deliver the goods. She began writing with a new sense of purpose, though in her journal she reports regular attacks of migraine, 'malaise', 'dreadful palsy', and 'uneasy incapacitating sensations' throughout the period of composition. These ailments were clearly exacerbated by the unaccustomed pressure of monthly deadlines, and she resolved never again to publish in serial form. Notwithstanding, she was generally able to deliver copy for each part to the printer around six weeks in advance of its scheduled appearance in the magazine. In January 1863, after finishing part 9, she realized that she could not in fact complete the book in the 12 parts she had earlier insisted on limiting it to. With Smith's agreement, but with no suggestion of increasing her fee, she decided to extent it to 14 parts, with the result that as printed in the Cornhill the novel is some 13 per cent longer than originally contracted for.

Romola was serialized in the Cornhill Magazine between July 1862 and August 1863 (its effect on the circulation figures was minimal). After reading the first episode Anthony Trollope wrote a letter to George Eliot which anticipated the reactions of the majority of critics at the time. On the one hand he expressed deep admiration for the scale and beauty of the novel's artistic design; on the other he worried that its sheer weight of historical reference would 'fire too much over the heads' of average readers and thus disaffect them. A few days later, as if in response, George Eliot confided to her friend Sara Hennell that 'Of necessity, the book is addressed to fewer readers than my previous works, and I myself have never expected-- I might rather say intended--that the book should be as

-x-

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