The Lifted Veil (1859) is now one of the most widely read and critically
discussed of Eliot's works. - ;`She had believed that my wild poet's
passion for her would make me her slave; and that, being her slave, I
should execute her will in all things.' The Lifted Veil was first published
in Blackwood's Magazine in 1859. A dark fantasy woven from contemporary
scientific interest in the physiology of the brain, mesmerism, phrenology
and experiments in revification it is Eliot's anatomy of her own moral
philsophy - the ideal of imaginative sympathy or the ability to see into
others' minds and emotions. Narrated by an egoccentric, morbid young
clairvoyant man whose fascination for Bertha Grant lies partly in her
obliquity, the story also explores fiction's ability to offer insight into
the self, as well as being a remarkable portrait of a misdeveloped artist
whose visionary powers merely blight his life. The Lifted Veil is now one
of the most widely read and critically discussed of Eliot's works.
Published as a companion piece to The Lifted Veil, Brother Jacob is by
contrast Eliot's literary homage to Thackeray, a satirical modern fable
that draws telling parallels between eating and reading. Yet both stories
reveal Eliot's deep engagement with the question of whether there are
'necessary truths' independent of our perception of them and the boundaries
of art and the self. Helen Small's introduction casts new light on works
which fully deserve to be read alongside Eliot's novels. -

George Eliot—The Lifted Veil, And Brother Jacob

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  • 9780192832955