Synopses & Reviews
Daniel Deronda, the last of Eliot's novels, is the most complete expression of her idealism. Its main concerns are those of personal morality, of dedication to tradition and roots, and of spiritual identification and sympathy--all set in an era of considerable national and international awareness. The text is that of the Clarendon Edition.
In her final novel, George Eliot turned to contemporary English and European life as material for the expression of her own idealism. "Daniel Deronda" (1876) is a psychologically incisive investigation, probing the egoism of a spoiled girl and her increasing awareness of conscience.
Daniel Deronda opens with one of the most memorable encounters in fiction: Gwendolen Harleth, alluring yet unsettling, is poised at the roulette-table in Leubronn, observed by Daniel Deronda, a young man groomed in the finest tradition of the English upper classes, and now searching for his path in life. While Gwendolen becomes trapped in an oppressive marriage, a series of dramatic encounters draws Deronda into ever deeper sympathy with Jewish aspirations to cultural and natural identity. Remote as Gwendolen's country-house world may seem from the world of Mirah, the lost daughter, and Mordecai, the visionary, George Eliot weaves these strands of her plot intimately together, daring the readers of Adam Bede and Middlemarch to open their eyes to areas of experience wholly new to the Victorian novel.