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Scenes of Clerical Life (Penguin Classics) Paperback – October 1, 1999
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
I will not speak of the plots here, for you can look elsewhere for that. Suffice it to say that Eliot is the only feminist I will ever read. Her descriptions, always important and vital to the meaning of the story, are utterly incredible. This book is more like poetry in this regard--its imagery, its vibrancy.
If you buy this book, think of some of these questions:
-Why is it called "The Sad Fortunes of Amos Barton" and not "...of Milly Barton"?
-Always keep in mind the muddling of characters and concepts. Are there are any ideal characters in this book, or are nearly all characters both execrable and sympathetic at the same time? If there is an ideal character, why would Eliot do this? (Milly)
-When does Janet make her first appearance in her story? Why?
That's enough. This book isn't read enough. It's a fabulous introduction to Eliot, as well as one of her best works. Her scope here is much more focused than than of her other works, though not to disparage those too much...it's less than 400 pages, whereas Middlemarch is around 1000! Read this, then pick up Middlemarch.
If you want realism, and if you think Henry James isn't very readable, pick up this book.
and "Daniel Deronda/"
Prior to the publication of these classics there is the charming and touching work "Scenes of a Clerical Life." Mary Ann was living without benefit of clergy with the author/scientist/man of letters George Henry Lewes who couldn't divorce his mad wife to mary the homely but brilliant Mary Ann (she spoke seven languages and had written widely on biblical criticism, science, book reviews and essays of erudition and wit). Lewes suggested she try her hand at fiction. The result is this collection of three stories which was published monthly in the liberal "Westminster Review" owned by the Blackwood Family in 1857. It was later published in book form under the pen name of "George Eliot". Charles Dickens was the only critic who correctly observed that these stories had to have been written by a woman.
The three tales are:
1. The Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton-The setting for this story as for the other two is the mythical Midlands town of Milby. Barton is an a very average cleryman who is not well liked by his parishoners. He is in dire poverty supporting several children and a sickly wife Millie. When Mrs. Barton dies we see how the church folks support Barton in his grief. The story is short and touching.
2. Mr. Gilfil's Love Story. This second clergyman in the trilogy of tales is a kindhearted old minister of the gospel. Eliot takes us back to 1788 to the story of his lost love for the beautiful Caterina.Read more ›
I highly recommend Scenes of Clerical Life.
Those not used to Victorian writing may find the pace a bit slow and some of the physical descriptions long-winded, but once you get used to that style and persevere, the rewards are considerable. George Eliot uses metaphor and imagery so effectively. A delightful little gem.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this collection very much, even though it fell short of Middlemarch. I found Mr. Gilfil's Love Story simply superb.Published 4 months ago by Charles Van Cott
This first work by the great George Eliot shows clearly how she came to be so great; Scenes of Clerical Life is where Middlemarch began. Marvelous stuff!Published 23 months ago by Carolyn Page
Middlemarch is my favorite George Eliot book, and I liked this book as well. It is a little different with three stories yet they all tied together. I only wish it was longer!Published on January 25, 2014 by Gayle Landeen
I enjoyed these stories, especially because each can be read in a sitting, which is not the case with Eliot's more famous works.Published on October 3, 2013 by Mama Jo
Eliot draws on the scenes and characters of her childhood to genuinely recreate emotions and truths that are timeless! Read morePublished on June 26, 2013 by Margaret Shields
If you love George Eliot you will love this book even if it is not quite the masterpiece her full length novels are. Read morePublished on March 10, 2013 by Tera Lynn Hausmann
I loved reading this book. I can now add this book of my collection of George Eliot books. I have 2 more books to read by George Eliot, then my collection will be complete. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by Kindle Customer
Read this for the language. The plots suffer from the sentimentality found in so many great 19C novels. Read morePublished on January 6, 2012 by Tom Hartung