Felix Holt: Love in the Time of Politics

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Abstract

If Felix Holt, the Radical is perhaps the most discomfiting of George Eliot's major novels, most contemporary readers ascribe this fact to the baldly ideological way in which Eliot handles the political "radicalism" that is its avowed central theme. But this political discomfort is augmented by the plot's awkward embrace of the disparate domains of the erotic and the legalistic. The novel's opening is dominated by Mrs. Transome, the imperious mistress of Transome Court whose long-ago extramarital affair has become a source of constant bitterness and anxiety; its denouement, meanwhile, is precipitated by the revelation of an inheritance plot so complex that Eliot had to consult a lawyer to get it right and the standard modern edition of the novel includes an appendix explaining its tortuous logic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to George Eliot
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Pages141-152
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780470655993
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Keywords

  • Felix Holt, the Radical
  • George Eliot
  • Love
  • Political radicalism

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  • Cite this

    Kurnick, D. (2013). Felix Holt: Love in the Time of Politics. In A Companion to George Eliot (pp. 141-152). John Wiley and Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118542347.ch10