Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Watery Grave

The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot. - Oxford World's Classics

George Eliot's (aka Mary Ann Evans), at times sylvan story of Maggie & Tom Tulliver was the selection for May's meeting of the Classics Reading Group. The waters of the Ripple and Floss feature large in the lives of both brother and sister. An idyllic childhood is spent at Dorlcote Mill, before the tribulations of adolescence and the poverty and sibling separation that follows their father's ill judged court case concerning riparian rights and his ultimate death. Eventually it is the same Floss that reunites brother and sister, but only in death.


As with Dickens' , David Copperfield there is much of the autobiography in Evans's novel. Like Maggie she grew up in the country. Like Maggie she adored her brother and like Maggie she would become estranged from her brother. Evans's elopement with George Henry Lewes is mirrored in Maggie's aborted elopement with Stephen Guest. Both authoress and character suffer social obloquy as a consequence of their, "racey," actions. Maggie ultimately retrieves the relationship with her brother unlike her creator.



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