on 2 May 2012
This accessible, fluently written biography incorporates knowledge of all George Eliot's writing, (essays; poetry; novels); all previous biographical writings, (Haight; Handley; Ashton et al); plus, previous and current literary critical approaches, (Barthes; Said; McCormack et al) to George Eliot's work. Furthermore, while exhibiting extensive academic reasearch, it benefits from disciplined editing and is therefore concise, ( just 300 pages).
But this is more than a simply re-telling of what is already known. Henry's approach to all George Eliot's work, (particularly her insightful reading of Impressions of Theophrastus Such), reveal previously unknown aspects of George Eliot's life and psychological make-up. With true generosity; Nancy Henry supplies that all elusive 'key' to discovering yet more about her subject. If the reader applies Henry's own approach and techniques, as demonstrated in her biography, to the novels; poetry and other work, yet more is available to be discovered about the novelist's personality and life.
On finishing reading this biography I was filled with desire to re-read George Eliot. Isn't that what literary biography is all about? Turning the mind of the reader to the work of the subject.
I highly reccommend this biography.