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Scenes of Clerical Life

Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot
By: (1819-1880)

Scenes of Clerical Life, which appeared in book form in 1858 (after serial publication in the previous year), was the first published fiction by George Eliot, the pen name for Mary Anne Evans. It consists of three novellas based on the lives of country clergymen and their communities. These characters interest Eliot not for their theology — she had abandoned conventional Christian belief — but for their humanity. In these stories, we find the earliest signs of the narrative voice, the humanism, and the realism that would make George Eliot one of the greatest novelists of the 1800s. (Introduction by Bruce Pirie)

First Page:

GEORGE ELIOT

Scenes of Clerical Life

INTRODUCTION BY GRACE RHYS

DENT London

EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY

All rights reserved

Printed in Great Britain

This edition was first published in Everyman's Library in 1910

INTRODUCTION

George Eliot, or Mary Ann Evans, was born at Arbury Farm, in the parish of Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, on the 22nd of November, 1819. She was the fifth and last child of her father by his second wife of that father whose sound sense and integrity she so keenly appreciated, and who was to a certain extent the original of her famous characters of Adam Bede and Caleb Garth.

Both during and after her schooldays George Eliot's history was that of a mind continually out growing its conditions. She became an excellent housewife and a devoted daughter, but her nature was too large for so cramped a life. 'You may try,' she writes in Daniel Deronda, 'but you can never imagine what it is to have a man's force of genius in you, and to suffer the slavery of being a girl.'

While her powers were growing she necessarily passed through many phases... Continue reading book >>


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