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The Ethics of George Eliot's Works   By: (-1879?)

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John Crombie Brown's exploration of The Ethics of George Eliot's Works offers readers a thought-provoking analysis of one of the most prominent Victorian novelists. Unraveling the intricate web of moral and ethical dilemmas present within Eliot's works, Brown presents a meticulously researched and deeply insightful study that will appeal to both literary enthusiasts and scholars.

The book's greatest strength lies in its comprehensive approach to understanding Eliot's ethical framework. Brown skillfully examines Eliot's novels, such as Middlemarch and Adam Bede, to extract the underlying moral principles driving the characters' actions. By contextualizing Eliot's works within the author's own life experiences and philosophical outlook, the reader gains a profound understanding of the intricate tapestry of ethical questions Eliot poses.

One notable aspect of Brown's analysis is his emphasis on the concept of realism in Eliot's writing. Through detailed examinations of Eliot's characters, he demonstrates how they grapple with complex ethical quandaries, mirroring the realistic dilemmas faced by individuals in the Victorian era. Brown argues that Eliot's literature not only serves as compelling narratives but as a moral compass, urging readers to reflect upon their own choices and consider the consequences of their actions.

Moreover, Brown's engaging prose helps bring Eliot's works to life. His writing style strikes a perfect balance between accessibility and academic rigor, making the book accessible for a wide range of readers. Brown's lucid explanations allow even those unfamiliar with Eliot's works to comprehend the intricacies of her ethical explorations, while simultaneously providing scholars with fresh insights and interpretations.

However, it is worth noting that at times the book becomes overly focused on analysis, which may pose a challenge for readers seeking a more casual exploration of Eliot's ethics. While thoroughness is commendable, occasional moments of brevity could have enhanced the reading experience, allowing for broader engagement with a wider audience.

Ultimately, The Ethics of George Eliot's Works by John Crombie Brown successfully sheds light on the moral underpinnings of Eliot's literature, affording readers a deeper understanding and appreciation of her works. Brown's insightful examination leaves no stone unturned, presenting a coherent and compelling account of Eliot's ethical insights. This book is highly recommended not only for devoted fans of George Eliot but also for anyone interested in the intersections of morality and literature.

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The greater part of the following Essay was written several years ago. It was too long for any of the periodicals to which the author had been in the habit of occasionally contributing, and no thought was then entertained of publishing it in a separate form. One day, however, during his last illness, the talk happened to turn on George Eliot's Works, and he mentioned his long forgotten paper. One of the friends then present a competent critic and high literary authority expressed a wish to see it, and his opinion was so favourable that its publication was determined on. The author then proposed to complete his work by taking up 'Middlemarch' and 'Deronda'; and if any trace of failing vigour is discernible in these latter pages, the reader will bear in mind that the greater portion of them was composed when the author was rapidly sinking under a painful disease, and that the concluding paragraphs were dictated to his daughter after the power of writing had failed him, only five days before his death.


It is a source of great gratification to the friends of the author that his little volume has already been so well received that the second edition has been out of print for some time... Continue reading book >>

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