The Quest for Anonymity: The Novels of George Eliot

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University of Delaware Press, 1997 - Fiction - 182 pages
In a new treatment of Eliot's booklength fiction, Alley argues that from the very moment she adopted a male pseudonym through to the major epic and tragic novels of her later life, the transcendence of fame was her major consideration. Focusing on one novel in each chapter, the study shows how the plights of Eliot's heroines and heroes do not end in frustration but in an affirmation of anonymous achievement, "the growing good of the world." For Eliot, heroism emerges through disclosure, rather than grandly executed action, and since the revelation requires discerning effort on the part of those watching, both observer and observed are celebrated.

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