From “shattered mummies” to “an epic life”: Casaubon’s key to all mythologies and Dorothea’s mythic renewal in George Eliot’sMiddlemarch

  • Roger Travis


The emergence over the course of George Eliot’sMiddlemarch of Dorothea Brooke as a new sort of epic hero clearly has much to do with her character’s starting point in an ill-suited marriage to the elderly cleric Edward Casaubon. The present paper argues that Casaubon’s unachieved life’s work,The Key to All Mythologies, functions very precisely in the novel as a textual, mythic figure against which, and even through which, Dorothea’s new character is defined.


Classical Tradition Greek Tragedy Textual Critic Classical Philology Ambitious Physician 


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Copyright information

© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Travis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Modern and Classical LanguagesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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