Good grief! That was a bit of a marathon! I have just finished “Mill on the Floss” by George Eliot. I found it a truly brilliant read, but I have spent rather too long at it. It is certainly a work which I may revisit in the future once I have the time. Other books have come and gone around it like flotsam and jetsam. This book speaks deep into the heart of society and is a fantastic exploration of interpersonal relationships, of love, of disgrace and of despair and triumph. Everything is here. It is very wide in its scope. It cannot be taken in isolation from the context of the time in which it was written and this does have some bearing, particularly in relation to religious matters.
This quote demonstrates just how perceptive and such a keen observer of hunan behaviour Eliot was:
“The possession of a wife conspicuously ones inferior in intellect is, like other high privileges, attended with a few inconveniences, and, among the rest, with the occasional necessity for using a little deception.”, this about mrs Tulliver who is continually vexed in her position in relation to her while family. This statement is touched with irony when it becomes obvious that if only her husband had listened to her, there may not have been the issues that followed.
Mr Tullivers aspirations for his children are shot through with a desire to live his
life vicariously through his children. His woes may be traced to his lack of acceptance of his position in the order of society.
There is so much else that could be said, but screeds have already been written about this. I can offer no further than these.