A Reception-History of George Eliot's Fiction

November 2010
212 pages
9x6 in
ISBN: 9781580463775
Format: Paperback
University of Rochester Press

A Reception-History of George Eliot's Fiction

J. Russell Perkin

A survey of the critical reception of George Eliot's fiction in Victorian periodicals.
First published in 1990, this paperback reintroduces a major contribution to our understanding of George Eliot's fiction, in which the author explores the different critical paradigms that have shaped the remarkably varied reception that Eliot's fiction has received. Basing his study on contemporary theories of literary criticism, with particular reference to the work of Jauss, Perkin provides important insights not only into the novels of George Eliot, but also into current critical debates about literary history.
The book begins by offering extended and perceptive discussions of the Victorian reviews of Adam Bede and Daniel Deronda, before examining the critical opinions of Henry James. The author then turns to more recent critics, in particular Virginia Woolf, F.R. Leavis, Barbara Hardy and J. Hillis Miller, and includes Marxist and feminist accounts of Eliot; there is also an in-depth and challenging reappraisal of Eliot's most underrated novel Felix Holt, the Radical.

J. Russell Perkin teaches English at St Mary's University in Halifax, Novia Scotia, Canada.


"...informative examination of Eliot's work and its readers, reviewers, and commentators in the Victorian periodical press."