This highly praised biography is the first to explore fully the way in which her painful early life and rejection by her brother Isaac in particular, shaped the insight and art which made her both Victorian England’s last great visionary and the first modern.
An immensely readable biography of the 19th century writer whose territory comprised nothing less than the entire span of Victorian society. Kathryn Hughes provides a truly nuanced view of Eliot, and is the first to grapple equally with the personal dramas that shaped her personality – particularly her rejection by her brother Isaac – and her social and intellectual context. Hughes shows how these elements together forged the themes of Eliot’s work, her insistence that ideological interests be subordinated to the bonds between human beings – a message that has keen resonance in our own time. With wit and sympathy Kathryn Hughes has written a wonderfully vivid account of Eliot’s life that is both moving, stimulating and at times laugh-out-loud funny.
Praise for Kathryn Hughes’s previous work:
‘Seriously scholarly yet nonetheless accessible to the general reader… fascinating.’
Margaret Forster, Sunday Telegraph
‘Hughes has an acute ear for social nuance.’
About the author
Kathryn Hughes read modern history at Oxford, creative writing at UEA and has a PhD in Victorian studies. She is a visiting professor in 19th century literature and history at several universities, and reviews regularly for the Daily Telegraph and the Literary Review. Her previous book was The Victorian Governess.