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Daniel Deronda [Kindle Edition]

George Eliot
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1143 KB
  • Print Length: 978 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0084ATXJM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #723 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mary Ann (Marian) Evans was born in 1819 in Warwickshire. She attended schools in Nuneaton and Coventry, coming under the influence of evangelical teachers and clergymen. In 1836 her mother died and Marian became her father's housekeeper, educating herself in her spare time. In 1841 she moved to Coventry, and met Charles and Caroline Bray, local progressive intellectuals. Through them she was commissioned to translate Strauss's Life of Jesus and met the radical publisher John Chapman, who, when he purchased the Westminster Review in 1851, made her his managing editor.

Having lost her Christian faith and thereby alienated her family, she moved to London and met Herbert Spencer (whom she nearly married, only he found her too 'morbidly intellectual') and the versatile man-of-letters George Henry Lewes. Lewes was separated from his wife, but with no possibility of divorce. In 1854 he and Marian decided to live together, and did so until Lewes's death in 1878. It was he who encouraged her to turn from philosophy and journalism to fiction, and during those years, under the name of George Eliot, she wrote Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Romola, Felix Holt, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, as well as numerous essays, articles and reviews.

George Eliot died in 1880, only a few months after marrying J. W. Cross, an old friend and admirer, who became her first biographer. She was buried beside Lewes at Highgate. George Eliot combined a formidable intelligence with imaginative sympathy and acute powers of observation, and became one of the greatest and most influential of English novelists. Her choice of material widened the horizons of the novel and her psychological insights radically influenced the novelist's approach to characterization. Middlemarch, considered by most to be her masterpiece, was said by Virginia Woolf to be 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people'.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maturer work than Middlemarch 3 Dec. 2010
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Middlemarch is usually cited as Eliot's masterpiece but I've always preferred Daniel Deronda: it might not be quite so successful but I think that's because Eliot's ambition is higher.

Set in England and Europe, this tells the intertwined stories of Gwendolen Harleth and Daniel himself. Eliot's portrait of Gwedolen's marriage, in particular, is a brave piece of writing for its time. Exposing the material basis for marriage that is glossed over in Austen, for example, it follows this to its logical conclusion.

Concerned with ideas of race and gender, this is a very modern novel in lots of way, wrapped up in Victorian style and format.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Writing letters is such a bore' 14 Oct. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'Daniel Deronda' is like an old wireless: it takes a while to warm up, but the wait is worth it. Eliot wrote it in her usual style. The opinionated omniscient narrator is present as are her many portentous metaphors. The first of the latter occurs at the start when Gwendolen Davilow, the central female character, wantonly gambles away her roulette winnings under Deronda's gaze. Shortly after, she learns that a financial speculation has all but ruined her family. As in many nineteenth century novels, therefore, the choices women make to secure their future is a prominent theme.

Deronda, oddly enough, is virtually absent for the first third of what is a lengthy novel. When he does appear, it is with an air of mystique, fuelled partly by his uncertain origin. He is a ward of Sir Hugo Mallinger, whose nephew and heir, Henleigh Grandcourt, eventually links Deronda to the Davilows. Grandcourt too has an air of mystery about him, and casts an imposing shadow over the story with his imperious, languid manner and his repeated insistence that almost everything but hunting bores him.

The other highly significant character in the novel is Mihra, the Jewess who Deronda befriends following a chance encounter. Perhaps the most tedious sections in the book are those in which characters discuss what it is to be Jewish. Although the subject takes on importance later, it is clearly Eliot's own thinly-veiled opinion.

The tensions in 'Daniel Deronda' stem mainly from two sources: the moral dilemmas characters are faced with, and the possibility that several of them may not be what they seem when we first encounter them. How the characters unfold and develop before us is something that Eliot handles superbly. There is always a sense that secrets are lurking in the background.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Jezza
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It seems odd to be writing a review of this - it's a classic after all, and hard to say much that hasn't already been said.

A few quick points though. There are two plots which converge, but the one with Gwendolyn Harcourt in it is much more enjoyable than the Deronda/Jews one. Gwendolyn is a spoiled bitch and a much more interesting character than Deronda, who is too good and noble to be at all interesting. Even though her moral dilemmas are not ours her capacity for self-deception and moral compromise are captivating. The book is at its best when she's around.

On the other hand the reader knows that Deronda is going to turn out to be Jewish for such a long time that it's really not much of a turn-up when he does indeed turn out to be. Mr Lush, another rancid spoiled character, is also much more interesting than the other 'good' characters - the insipid Mira, the saintly Mordecai/Ezra...

It's much too long for the narrative, and neither plot nor description justify the length. That's just how they liked them then, I suppose - very very long descriptions of how characters felt about every development in the story.

Proto-zionist, of course - the need for the Jews to re-establish themselves as a nation again is treated very sympathetically, though not so much as a solution to antisemitism as something that is needed for the Jews to overcome their own self-imposed disadvantages and deficits.

Elliot does depict the anti-semitism of the upper classes, though without any sense of criticism. We are used to negative depictions of 'zoological' Jew-hating, and we know how to feel about that. For me the mild, social anti-Jewish snobbery, and the suggestion that being Jewish is just a bad life choice, is much more uncomfortable' - the more so since it comes from characters who can be quite sympathetic to actual Jews.

Glad I read this, but won't be rushing to read anything else like it for a while.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different to other George Eliot books 16 May 2011
By Frankie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although Daniel Deronda is mentioned on the first page he does not appear again until well into the book and one starts to wonder where the book is going. Gwendolen is a very self centred person who excites little sympathy, even after her husband's death. The narrative then goes to Daniel Deronda and the two tales appear not to have much connection, until towards the end when the question arises as to which woman he will choose.

The Jewish aspect is interesting especially with the knowledge of what happened with the creation of Israel in the future, but there are long passages of philosophy which are best skipped over.

Suffered a lot by having American spelling and quite a lot of typo's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and intriguing read 17 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Daniel Deronda centres around several characters. It relates to an intersection of Jewish and Gentile society in 19th century England. With references to Kaballah, Jewish identity and the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel. Gwendolen Harleth a spoiled but poised and spirited of a family of recently impoverished English gentry enters into a loveless marriage for money, with the cold Mr Grandcourt., but soon sickens of his emotional sadism. The novel centres around Gwendolen as much as it does around Daniel Deronda. It takes us through the lives of both major character's pasts ., before joining the two narratives into the present so to speak.
Daniel Deronda is the adopted son of an English aristocrat, with who Gwendolyn falls in love. Deronda rescues the beautiful Jewish actress and singer Mirah Lapidoth from suicide by drowning, introducing us to another interesting and endearing character. He then becomes intimately involved with the society of English Jewry.
Deronda later discovers his Jewish birth from his dying mother who was the daughter of a prominent Rabbi, who married her cousin. Deronda's story therefore as that of a Jew brought up as a Gentile aristocrat before discovering his identity and committing himself to the national welfare of his people is partly based on that of Moses.
The book puts some focus, mainly through conversation on the yearning of the Jewish people to return to the Holy Land to rebuild the Jewish Commonwealth. Deronda and Mirah later leave
England to help rebuild the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel. This component of the novel has lead some prejudiced bigots, such as the loathsome Edward Said to condemn this 1876 classic as `Zionist propaganda'-an Orwellian charge indeed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
You can't beat Geporge Eliot - read it and see why
Published 1 month ago by Milly Jacobs
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great story, some printing errors
Published 2 months ago by Mr. David G. Stables
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by David Ware
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 7 months ago by j g hames
1.0 out of 5 stars quite the most difficult book I have ever read
Though ninety five, I found this book really too much, and got through to the very end by skipping very much bore than I read. Every page seemed to turn into a sermon. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Edis
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware mistakes, typos, omissions in all but two versions!
This is an excellent book - BUT: be careful because as far as I can see from samples all but two of the kindle editions have serious shortcomings. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Diana
5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel Deronda
Was unsure if I would enjoy this book but it took me by surprise how much I enjoyed the story and the different characters. Would definitely recommend George Eliot - great writer.
Published 15 months ago by catherine benison
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force -
As is a period novel it can take a bit to get into (the language of the era) - but carry on and as the story unfolds you will be astonished at how 'current' the subject matter is -... Read more
Published 16 months ago by crabbymadge
2.0 out of 5 stars It has a point to make
Daniel Deronda is an over-written excessively expansive book that would have made the same point and stressed on the same themes in just half its size. Read more
Published 20 months ago by H B
1.0 out of 5 stars Altered spelling!
I am irritated by the Americanised spelling of a renowned George Eliot novel. Why are these changes necessary? Read more
Published 22 months ago by J F Steinberg
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