George Eliot: Daniel Deronda

(2000 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

Daniel Deronda was George Eliot's last major novel and also her most ambitious. It represents a marked change of perspective from her previous work, replacing the fixed provincial setting with a pan-European setting that spans the social spectrum from princesses and dukes to rural village communities and impoverished families living in slum conditions. Society at large is no longer glimpsed through the prism of a rural village; a greater world experienced only insofar as it disturbs a pre-constituted harmonious community. Globalization is taken as the new fact of reality and rootlessness is now the defining condition of her fictional world. Correspondingly, the task of her lead characters becomes that of putting down firm roots …

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Uglow, Nathan. "Daniel Deronda". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]