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Scenes Of Clerical Life
by George Eliot
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A new edition of George Eliot's earliest published fictional work with a new Introduction and Notes reflecting recent scholarship
These stories, first published in Blackwood's Magazine in 1857, constitute George Eliot's fictional debut. They contain her earliest studies of what became enduring themes in her great novels: the impact of religious controversy and social change on provincial life and the power of love to transform the lives of individual men and women. Although Eliot would have to wait until the publication of her next work, Adam Bede, for fame and fortune, Scenes of Clerical Life won acclaim from a discerning readership, including Charles Dickens, who wrote: "I hope you will excuse my writing to you to express my admiration....The exquisite truth and delicacy, both of the humour and the pathos of those stories, I have never seen the like of." This Penguin Classics edition also features "How I Came to Write Fiction," Eliot's own recollection of her novelistic abilities.
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
The first novel by George Eliot, comprising three tales that had originally appeared serially in Blackwood's Magazine in 1857 and were published together in two volumes in 1858. The stories, noted for their dialogue and characterization, drew upon Eliot's early experiences with religion in a provincial setting. The title character of "The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton" is an awkward, unpopular clergyman of Shepperton whose hardworking, gentle wife, Milly, dies of exhaustion. "Mr. Gilfil's Love Story" concerns Barton's predecessor at Shepperton, whose long-suffering love for Tina is briefly satisfied when she, after being spurned by a previous lover, finally consents to marry Gilfil, only to die a few months later. In "Janet's Repentance," the Reverend Edgar Tryan is a sympathetic clergyman who helps to cure Janet Dempster of alcoholism after she flees her abusive husband, Robert.
From the Publisher
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