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Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
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Daniel Deronda (original 1876; edition 1979)

by George Eliot

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,393262,605 (3.9)1 / 175
Member:KayCliff
Title:Daniel Deronda
Authors:George Eliot
Info:Signet Classics (1979), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:novel, Jews, kindle

Work details

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 26 (next | show all)
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 |
This book was Eliot’s last novel. In her introduction to my copy Barbara Hardy, an Eliot expert, says “…this is a last novel which can be called a remarkable conclusion.” It took on a large issue, anti-Semitism, but also dealt with a great love story and fierce friendships. When this book was first published it appeared monthly between February and September 1876. I decided to experience reading it somewhat in the way its first readers did and I interspersed the monthly installments with other books. I still finished it in one month but this method gave me some indication of the anticipation the initial readers would have felt on receiving the next installment.
The title character makes a very brief appearance in the first book. That book is devoted mostly to Gwendolen Harleth, the beautiful but spoiled young lady who attracts many suitors but has not accepted any as a husband. She briefly meets Deronda while gambling in Europe. He noticed her cool demeanour as she won much and then lost it all again. Just after that meeting Gwendolen hears from her mother that they have lost all their fortune to bad investments and she must return to England immediately. Gwen pawns a necklace in order to have funds either to continue gambling or to buy her return ticket. Deronda observed her enter the pawn broker’s shop and later he returned the necklace anonymously to her. Gwen then feels that she must give up the idea of gambling and she returns to England. In the next book we learn that Miss Harleth was courted by Mr. Mallinger Grandcourt, a gentleman who is the heir of Sir Hugo Mallinger. Gwen knows that he is going to propose to her but she learns that he had a long-standing relationship with a married woman who had four children by him. Her first husband having died she had hoped that Grandcourt would finally marry her and make her son his heir. When she learns that Grandcourt is enamoured of Miss Harleth she meets with her to tell her the truth. Gwen was horrified, promised not to marry Grandcourt and then immediately left for the continent with family friends. Now that her family is penniless she is tempted by Grandcourt who promises to look after her mother in style. So Gwen accepts Grandcourt’s proposal and wedding arrangements are made. Deronda is also back in England. Previous to going to Europe, while boating on the Thames, he observed a young woman who appeared to be getting ready to drown herself. He intervenes and we are thus introduced to the other main character in the book, Mirah Lapidoth. Mirah is a Jewess who was taken from her mother and brother by her father when she was very young. Possessed of a lovely voice she had been forced to act and sing by her father and he was about to sell other of her accomplishments. Mirah ran away from him and came to London to find her mother and brother but she had been unsuccessful. She had determined to kill herself rather than risk returning to her father. Deronda takes her to the mother of a friend, Mrs. Meyrick, and Mirah blossomed under her care. Mirah is grateful to and probably also in love with Deronda but her religion is too important for her to consider marrying a Christian. Now that he has returned to London Deronda is determined to help Mirah by finding her brother and mother if he can,
Deronda is the antithesis of Mallinger Grandcourt. Grandcourt would do anything to win the object of his desires but Deronda recognizes that he may never win Mirah but he is willing to help her forever. His superior qualities also attract Gwendolen’s notice. Marriage to Grandcourt is torture for her but Deronda’s wisdom and advice help her deal with her feelings. Deronda was brought up by Sir Hugo Mallinger and Daniel, who was told nothing about his parents, believed that he was the illegitimate son of Sir Hugo. He does long to know what happened to his mother but his love and esteem for Sir Hugo restrains him from making enquiries. By Book Seven we learn about his heritage but it would be too big a spoiler to reveal that here.
This is a wonderful story and certainly deserving of the acclaim it has received. I liked it more than Middlemarch, which is probably the most famous Eliot book and about the same as Mill on the Floss. But my favourite of her books that I have read is Adam Bede which I thought was perfect. ( )
  gypsysmom | May 5, 2015 |
Wonderful book by one of my favorite authors. It is the only one she wrote that occurs during her contemporary times and deals with antisemitism in English Victorian society. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
I ended up liking the book more than I thought I would. Gwendolen Harleth is really a fantastic character, and Eliot has a superb mastery of the consciousness of people from many different backgrounds. A word to the wise: parsing through the language is a little like trying to kill yourself with a feather. ( )
  fitakyre | Mar 13, 2014 |
It would be superfluous for me to repeat the many excellent reviews given already. Here are my thoughts on finally completing this long and may I say,difficult work.
Daniel Deronda himself I found self-satisfied and something of a prig.His treatment of Gwendolen at the end was nothing more than disgraceful and could well have led to her committing suicide. Gwendolen Harleth is for the most part a most annoying person. She is a spoilt and pampered creature with few good points except a deep love for her mother. The real villain is Henleigh Mallenger Grandcourt whom Gwendolen feels forced to marry due to the fact that he is rich and her family has lost their own money.This turns out to be a regrettable decision as Grandcourt is also cruel and cold to a remarkable degree.
Deronda himself saves a young girl from drowning herself (his only true act of goodness it seems to me) She turns out to be a Jewess called Mirah who is the only main character in the book with whom one can truly empathise. She has a brother,Mordecai,who to be frank,must be one of the most boring person ever written about. He goes on and on for pages and pages about the Jewish religion until you want to hit him.
As I have said about other books,the reader must be able to sympathise with at least some of the main characters and in this cast one just cannot. All power to George Eliot for writing this complicated and detailed story which runs in my edition to over 800 pages. I'm glad I've read it,but unlike some of her other books,I won't be returning to it. ( )
  devenish | Aug 28, 2013 |
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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?
Quotations
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)

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Editions: 0140434275, 0141199245

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