Anna’s Book Afternoon

This is one if not the favourite book I have.  It goes back an awful long way to my first reading this book, but I have always remembered it with the greatest of affection.  I am lucky to have a Leather bound copy of the book, but I also purchased just an ordinary copy as well so as to keep the Leather bound version perfect.

The book in question is called “The Mill On The Floss” written by George Eliot, I am sure you have heard if not read the book and the name of George Eliot is known to you.

George Eliot, whose real name was Mary Ann or Marian Evans, was born at Arbury Farm near Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, on November 22, 1819.  Her Father, Robert Evans, a man of great integrity of character and professional ability – she was to portray some of his virtues in Adam Bede and Caleb Gareth in Middlemarch  —  was at the time agent for the Newdigate estate of Arbury Park.  He was twice married, his first wife having died leaving two children.  Marian was the third child of his second marriage.  Her early childhood years were spent in the intimate and happy companionship of her elder sister Christiana and her brother Isaac, at Griff, a house on the Arthur estate into which the family had moved shortly after Marian’s birth.

Around 1851 she moved to london.  When she met G. H. Lewes, a man of wide literary interests and talent, the latter was living apart from his wife from whom he could not obtain a divorce.  A close friendship sprang up between Marian and Lewes which soon became love.  They decided to live together in a free union, a union which was to last until Lewes’ death in 1878.

The stories were published under the pseudonym of George Eliot, and no one except G. H. Lewes knew for quite a while the author’s truer identity.  With the publication of Adam Bede (1859) George Eliot’s fame as a leading novelist of her time was established and so were the material foundations of her existence.  The success of The Mill on the Floss (1860) was even greater than that of Adam Bede.  The years that followed were for George Eliot years of achievement and happiness, but also of hard unrelenting work, interrupted only by long vacations on the Continent.  Her health was never good.

In 1863 George Eliot and G. H. Lewes who until then had been changing residence frequently, took a  house named “The Priory” in Regents Park, London, which henceforth remained their home.  In 1871-72 Middlemarch appeared, which contemporary judgement pronounced George Eliot’s greatest masterpiece.  1876 saw the publication of her last novel Daniel Deronda.

G. H. Lewes died in November 1878.  Some eighteen months later (May 6, 1880) George Eliot married John Walter Cross who had been for many years a great admirer of her work, and in later years also her trusted friend.  Less than eight months after her marriage, on December 22, 1880 she died.

 

The Mill on the Floss

Is the story of Maggie, the highspirited Victorian girl who became a passionate young woman, torn between loyalty and love….

The Mill on the Floss

Is the story of the men who loved Maggie:

Tom, her proud, ambitious broither;

Philip, the man she loved, wo was forbidden to her;

and Stephen, who wanted her but could not have her.

 

 

 

Just a taste.  With thanks to the Audiobooks Channel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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