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Daniel Deronda (Penguin Classics) by George…

Daniel Deronda (Penguin Classics) (original 1876; edition 1996)

by George Eliot, Terence Cave (Contributor), Terence Cave (Editor)

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2,701302,192 (3.89)1 / 204
Title:Daniel Deronda (Penguin Classics)
Authors:George Eliot
Other authors:Terence Cave (Contributor), Terence Cave (Editor)
Info:Penguin Classics (1996), Paperback, 896 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:fiction, readnook

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Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (1876)

  1. 50
    The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Surprised this recommendation hasn't already been made ... scholars throughout the years have noted Gwendolen Harleth's influence upon James in creating Isabel Archer.
  2. 20
    The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (davidcla)
    davidcla: Wharton's 1913 novel is excellent, and very interesting to read as a companion to George Eliot's Daniel Deronda. Wharton's Undine casts Eliot's Gwendolen in a new light. And vice versa.
  3. 00
    Harrington by Maria Edgeworth (nessreader)
  4. 01
    Ulysses by James Joyce (kara.shamy)

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
With its competing issues of feminism and anti-semitism, the novel is full of insightful characterisations, especially Gwendolen's, - nobody is just some adjectives thrown together but the result of their environment and upbringing and society - and intricate psychological dissections of every action and relationships. However, as a non-Jewish woman and also due to some frankly unbelievable and contrived plot points, I would have preferred a novel called Gwendolen Harleth by Mary Ann Evans.

Gwendolen is proud, sarcastic, self-absorbed and absolutely wonderful in how utterly feminist she is, but realistically so in the 19th century manner but her ideas would not be out of place here in our current context. Her literary best friend would have to be Lily Bart from Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, two charismatic and headstrong, practical women, carving a path through the heartbroken suitors, seeing through the façade of their lifestyles but making the most out of their situations against presiding conventions. Her story arc was realistic and the chilling way Eliot captures a controlling, psychologically abusive marriage leaves me mad and yelling about the necessity of feminism.

Her relationship with Deronda evolves to be from attraction to moral dependence but not out of necessity or plot-advancement, seemingly just as a tool to keep the eponymous character relevant. His entire backstory and side-plots left me impatient for the novel to return to Gwen. Coincidences in fiction should be only ever employed as a tool for some eventual misfortune, not a happy ending with a saintly creature you happened to rescue from suicide by fortuitous timing, whose only "flaw" is her stubborn insistence in marrying someone of Jewish background. When the resolution of a major plot point/happiness rests on the heretofore-unsuspected-by-anyone secret that you are actually Jewish, this is not good plotting.

Read the novel for appreciation of the Eliot's incisive and discerning understanding of human behaviour but not for a satisfying combination of feminism and antisemitism, pick one reading and proceed. ( )
1 vote kitzyl | Jun 30, 2016 |
couldn't get into it...
  ellohull | Feb 10, 2016 |
I have a sneaking suspicion that I have just read the best book I will read in 2016- [Daniel Deronda] by [George Eliot]. I have now read all of Eliot's works and this is by far the best layered and most emotion illiciting book of the bunch. This is Eliot's final and most in-depth novel. It does not take place in rural England, but in a very modern London. Although the book is titled Daniel Deronda, he often plays second fiddle to several other characters. The plot is two-fold, one plot line involving traditional English class society and focusing on the life and fate of Gwendolen Harleth, an initially arrogant and pampered young woman who, through a series of misadventures, chooses to marry Grandcourt, a corrupt and domineering titled Englishman who makes her life a misery. The second plot line involves a young Jewess, Mirah, and her brother Mordecai (Ezra), following their struggles in England. The two plots are linked by Daniel Deronda, presumably a bastard child of a wealthy man.

This work by Eliot tackled the really tough topic of Zionism. In fact I read that following Eliot's death, there were attempts to publish the book without the Zionist parts. Highly recommend this book! 5 stars! ( )
1 vote tess_schoolmarm | Feb 5, 2016 |
Well woven story, but I never quite understood why Daniel had to go east... ( )
  Big_Blue | Sep 29, 2015 |
My first meeting with George Eliot’s last novel was actually 10 years ago with its 2002 BBC adaptation , which soon became one of my best favourites , when I hadn’t even read a page from the book and only just heard about it.
BBC drama was stunning and I found the story so original and brave that I promised myself I would read the book sooner or later. I’ve kept the promise though it wasn’t sooner. You know, how is it that we usually complain? Too many books, too little time. That’s it. Now, let’s start my musings giving some order to my thoughts , focusing on few important themes and, especially, let’s introduce the book properly.
Read my complete review at http://flyhigh-by-learnonline.blogspot.it/2012/09/reading-daniel-deronda-george-...
  learnonline | Aug 28, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brockway, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cave, TerenceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Was she beautiful or not beautiful? and what was the secret of form or expression which gave the dynamic quality to her glance?
To judge wisely I suppose we must know how things appear to the unwise; that kind of appearance making the larger part of the world’s history.
A nonchalance about sales seems to belong universally to the second-hand book-business. In most other trades you find generous men who are anxious to sell you their wares for your own welfare; but even a Jew ... One is led to believe that a secondhand bookseller may belong to that unhappy class of men who have no belief in the good of what they get their living by.
Emotion was at the acute point, where it is not distinguishable fromsensation.
Day followed day with that want of perceived leisure which belongs to lives where there is no work to mark off intervals.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140434275, Paperback)

As "Daniel Deronda" opens, Gwendolen Harleth is poised at the roulette-table, prepared to throw away her family fortune. She is observed by Daniel Deronda, a young man groomed in the finest tradition of the English upper-classes. And while Gwendolen loses everything and becomes trapped in an oppressive marriage, Deronda's fortunes take a different turn. After a dramatic encounter with the young Jewish woman Mirah, he becomes involved in a search for her lost family and finds himself drawn into ever-deeper sympathies with Jewish aspirations and identity. 'I meant everything in the book to be related to everything else', wrote George Eliot of her last and most ambitious novel, and in weaving her plot strands together she created a bold and richly textured picture of British society and the Jewish experience within it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:51 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

George Eliot's last and most unconventional novel is considered by many to be her greatest. First published in installments in 1874-76, "Daniel Deronda" is a richly imagined epic with a mysterious hero at its heart. Deronda, a high-minded young man searching for his path in life, finds himself drawn by a series of dramatic encounters into two contrasting worlds: the English country-house life of Gwendolen Harleth, a high-spirited beauty trapped in an oppressive marriage, and the very different lives of a poor Jewish girl, Mirah, and her family. As Deronda uncovers the long-hidden secret of his own parentage, Eliot's moving and suspenseful narrative opens up a world of Jewish experience previously unknown to the Victorian novel.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.89)
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2.5 6
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434275, 0141199245

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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