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The Lifted Veil and Brother Jacob (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

By George Eliot (Author)
Our Price $ 7.65  
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Item Number 160897  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.74" Width: 5.07" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.34 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2001
Publisher   Penguin Classics
ISBN  0140435174  
EAN  9780140435177  
UPC  051488009009  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The two novellas in this volume-one Gothic, the other satiric-offer dark counterpoint to the warm humanism of Eliot's novels. The Lifted Veil is the story of Latimer, a mindreader with psychic powers. His brother's fiance, Bertha, is the one person whose mind remains closed to him, arousing an undeniable curiosity, until his brother dies and he and Bertha marry-when he can finally see her intentions. In Brother Jacob, David Faux is driven by self-interest and greed to create a false life for himself as a confectioner in Jamaica. To David's surprise, it is his idiot brother, Jacob, who proves to be his nemesis.

This edition includes an introduction that places the novellas within the context of modern psychology and relates them to Eliot's longer fiction.

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More About George Eliot

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George Eliot (November 22, 1819 - December 22, 1880) was the pen name of Mary Anne Evans an English novelist, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era

Graham Handley is a former part-time lecturer in the Department of Extramural Studies, University of London whose previous publications include George Eliot (ed., Longman, 1991), George Eliot, Judaism and the Novels (with Saleel Nurbhai, Palgrave, 2002), and Modernizing George Eliot (Bloomsbury Academic, 2011).

George Eliot lived in Chilvers Coton. George Eliot was born in 1819 and died in 1880.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The dark Hyde to Eliot's more familiar, 'warm' Jekyll works.  Sep 21, 2001
My previous experience of reading George Eliot (admittedly about a decade ago) had been unhappy - her celebrated humanism seemed like so much fussy interference; 'Silas Marner' was too cosy, and I could not get past the infuriating first chapter of 'Middlemarch'. I've always felt a bit guilty about abandoning 'the greatest English novelist', and this volume of two short tales was a perfect opportunity to see whther my tastes had matured.

'The Lifted Veil' is a dark masterpiece, part-Gothic tale, written in the stilted style of famous horror stories like 'Frankenstein', in which inexplicable horror is described with unnervingly inappropriate articulacy; part-Henry James study of an idle, wealthy man tormented by the unknowability of a woman and her faithfulness (shades of Proust too, who worshipped Eliot).

As Gothic, its influence on cinema has been slight, although the narrator who narrates his own death looks to 'Sunset Boulevard', while a character who can see others' minds was recently enacted in 'What Women Want'. The story begins with one of the best, most shocking openings in English literature, as the hero Latimer, blighted with the gift of 'prevision', gives a detailed account of the way he will die, alone in a crumbling mansion, abandoned by careless servants.

At times, the story reads like a textbook psychological study with a solipsistic hero who lost his beloved mother at a young age, whose father resented him as inadequate, and whose brother's fiancee he loves. The various previsions he has are full of those details Freudian critics enjoy. But those previsions are described in ominous tableaux, and the switch from 'real life' into these states has a genuinely disorienting effect on the reader.

The text has always been seen as valuable as a rare instance of Eliot in effect denying or questioning the humanist principles of her most characteristic work and her interest in progressive science - its narrative is hermetic, anti-humanistic, circular: conflating time to an eternal, hellish present.

'Brother Jacob' is more like the Eliot I remembered, the story of a confectioner's apprentice who steals from his mother to emigrate to Jamaica where he intends to be given his fortune. Although it is a (sour) moral fable, with every character emerging badly, rather than warmly humanistic, the novels' irritations are here - the bossy, intrusive narration; the portrait of a growing, bourgeois community, lifelessly focusing on their obsessions with status and money, where every metaphor is inextricably linked with commerce and consumption. Each character is a caricature: the 'humour' is smug, smart-alecky, sarcastic and sneering. The tale is full of the details English Literature critics enjoy - colonialism, mental defectives, assumed identities etc.

The volume is worth reading for Sally Shuttleworth's exhaustive introduction, which discusses the stories in the context of Eliot's life and work (both are seen as negative allegories for writing and the writer), British Imperialism, laissez-faire economics, gender, the growth of science and progressive philosophy as the new religion etc.

Between Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll  Jun 11, 2000
A little-read story of George Eliot's "The Lifted Veil" is a lovely example of the intersection between humanities and science in 1859: it ends with a revivification scene worthy of Mary Shelley. Written just before Eliot admitted to being the author of *Adam Bede*, the emasculated protagonist, Latimer, mirrors Eliot herself in his desire for solitude. Exceedingly well-crafted Victorian writing. (I don't know the other story *Brother Jacob* well: it espouses that the wages of sin are embarassment and ostracization.)

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