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- DescriptionIt is one of the curiosities of history that the most remarkable vel about Jews and Judaism, predicting the establishment of the Jewish state, should have been written in 1876 by a n-Jew -- a Victorian woman and a formidable intellectual, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest of English velists. And it is still more curious that Daniel Deronda, George Eliot's last vel, should have been dismissed, by many of her admirers at the time and by some critics since, as something of an amaly, an inexplicable and unfortunate turn in her life and work. Yet Eliot herself was passionately committed to that vel, having prepared herself for it by an extraordinary feat of scholarly research in five languages (including Hebrew), exploring the ancient, medieval, and modern sources of Jewish history. Three years later, to reenforce that commitment, she wrote an essay, the very last of her writing, reaffirming the heritage of the Jewish nation and the desirability of a Jewish state -- this well before the founders of Zionism had conceived of that mission. Why did this Victorian velist, born a Christian and an early convert to agsticism, write a book so respectful of Judaism and so prescient about Zionism? And why at a time when there were pogroms or persecutions to provoke her? What was the general conception of the Jewish question, and how did Eliot reinterpret that question, for her time as well as ours? Gertrude Himmelfarb, a leading Victorian scholar, has undertaken to unravel the mysteries of Daniel Deronda. And the mysteries of Eliot herself: a velist who deliberately wrote a book she knew would bewilder many of her readers, a distinguished woman who opposed the enfranchisement of women, a moralist who flouted the most venerable of marital conventions -- above all, the author of a vel that is still an inspiration or provocation to readers and critics alike.
- Author BiographyGertrude Himmelfarb, professor emeritus at the Graduate School of the City University, has written extensively on intellectual and cultural history with a focus on Victorian England. Her most recent books are The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling and The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004 she received the National Humanities Medal awarded by the President.
- Author(s)Gertrude Himmelfarb
- PublisherEncounter Books,USA
- Date of Publication31/05/2012
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintEncounter Books,USA
- Weight271 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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