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Daniel Deronda (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – April 15, 2009
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About the Author
Graham Handley is Lecturer in English in the Extra-Mural Department, University of London. He has edited Daniel Deronda (Clarendon Press) and Trollope's The Three Clerks (World's Classics). He has also written a book on George Eliot's Midlands and a critical study of Barchester Towers.
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Top Customer Reviews
The forward story in "Daniel Deronda" is that of Gwendolen Harleth, a coquettish, conceited, superficial girl -- in company she often affects a sophistication that is never quite convincing -- who could be called the heroine even though she lacks most heroic attributes. She is from an upper class family, but when misfortune strikes and she is faced with poverty, she consents to marry a man named Mallinger Grandcourt, heir to a large estate, rather than reduce herself to taking a job as a governess, and despite having received a warning from a mysterious lady about Grandcourt's having fathered illegitimate children.
The secondary story is that of Daniel Deronda, the title character, a young man who first sees Gwendolen in a casino in Leubronn at the beginning of the novel. Daniel, who happens to be the ward of Mallinger Grandcourt's uncle, Sir Hugo Mallinger, is inquisitive about his obscure parentage and unsure of his place in the world. One portentous day, he rescues a girl from drowning herself -- this is Mirah Lapidoth, a Jewish girl who has run away from her father in Prague and come to London to look for her long-lost mother and brother.Read more ›
Strictly speaking, Daniel Deronda isn't quite the same level of immaculate fiction as Middlemarch. So I think George Eliot fans will be somewhat disappointed. But on the positive side, the book is much more accessible (ie, easier to read). And the subject matter makes it required reading for everyone interested in modern Judaism/Zionism. It's fascinating to compare how Jews were perceived during the mid-1800s relative to today (..in western Europe).
Finally, the Penguin Classic edition of Daniel Deronda has both great Notes and Introductory sections (which, oddly, is supposed to be read AFTER reading the book).
Daniel Deronda is the ward (and rumored illegitimate son) of a nobleman, who is unsure of his past (particularly of his mother) catching a glimpse of pretty, reckless, arrogant Gwendolyn Harleth at a casino. Gwendolyn (who boasts that she gets everything she wants) is interested in Daniel, but when her family loses all their money, she marries a rich suitor, a relative of Daniel's -- knowing that his mistress and illegitimate children will be disinherited. But she soon finds that her new husband is a sadistic brute, and sees Daniel as her only help.
Meanwhile, Daniel rescues the despairing Mirah Lapidoth from a suicide attempt in the river, and he helps the young Jewish singer find a home and friends to care for her. As he helps her find her family, he becomes passionately attached to the Jewish population and their plight, embodied by a dying young visionary and a kindly shopkeeping family. Then he receives an important message -- one that will illuminate his roots, and give him a course for the future.
When Eliot published her final novel, it caused a massive stir -- not many novelists tackled the plight of the Jewish population, or how it compared to the gilded upper classes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Daniel Deronda, the protagonist, is an alluring, complicated, intriguingly derived individual whose growing self-awareness leads to increased compassion, freedom from conformity to... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Angus Davis
This is a sleeper of a classic in my opinion. Anyone into classics should give it a read. Of course there are references that you either have to overlook or look up, that have to... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Debora Hall
Not an easy read, but I found it, eventually, totally engaging and actually glad it seemed to go on forever. Bear with the obtuse verbiage and you may feel well-rewarded.Published 2 months ago by Smurfkat
We like all of George Eliot's books and this one is no exception.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This rural county guy unfortunately never lived in this period and as such could not really get to involved in reading this novel.Published 5 months ago by Chaplain Stanleigh Fremont Chapin
This is a book to spend time over and in which to immerse yourself. The plot is slow-moving, both in terms of dialogue and description - you may see a development coming, but be... Read morePublished 5 months ago by CBx
Great story. Love the movie and the book more. It's a big book, but worth all the interweaving stories. Elliot has really long sentences which are at times hard to read.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
900+ pages of less than sterling Eliot. Can't hold a candle to Middlemarch. Gwendolyn's story has interest but Daniel is an unbelievable character. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer