The ‘Radical’ Mindset of George Eliot

  • K. M. Newton


The chapter argues that Eliot is a ‘radical’ thinker in the sense that she cannot be defined in terms of either conventional Victorian thinking, whether conservative or liberal, or much modern thinking, in relation to the choices she made in her personal life, her politics and issues like the Jewish question. It is argued that her ‘revolutionary’ phase in the 1840s when she enthusiastically supported the 1848 revolutions was not, as is generally thought, superseded by a conservative ideology but continued, though the failure of the 1848 revolutions led to a more pessimistic and sceptical mental attitude about whether her earlier revolutionary ideals and hopes could ever be achieved. But a utopian strain in her thinking was never abandoned.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Newton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DundeeDundeeUK

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