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English 7050: George Eliot

In this course we will study the fiction of George Eliot (Marian Evans) and explore Eliot's central recurrent concerns: the growth and disintegration of human character; moral striving, duty, and practical religion; sympathy, passion, and love; the plight of single and vulnerable women; problematic marriages; the relation of self and society; the value and limitations of "provincial life"; the moral and literary implications of realism; the complexity of the human soul.

The course will centre on a close and attentive reading of four crucial texts: Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda. Supplementary material will be provided on Eliot's other works of fiction (Scenes of Clerical Life, Silas Marner, Romola, and Felix Holt) and on nineteenth-century British literature and culture.


Fall 2011


Dr. Mark Cumming (