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'Many men write well and tell a story well, but few possess the art of giving individually to their characters so happily and easily as you...' Thus wrote the publisher John Blackwood in February 1857 to shy and ambitious new author, whom he had not yet met, George Eliot. Shielded by this psuedonym, Mary Ann Evans made her fictional debut when Scenes of Clerical Life appeared in Blackwood's Magazine the same year. These stories contain Eliot's eariest studies of what became enduring themes in her great novels: the impact of religious controversy and social change in provincial life, and the power of love to transform the loves of individual men and women.
George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) made her fictional debut when SCENES OF CLERICAL LIFE appeared in 'Blackwood's Magazine' in 1857. These stories contain Eliot's earliest studies of what became enduring themes in her great novels: the impact of religious controversy and social change in provincial life, and the power of love to transform the lives of individual men and women. 'Adam Bede' was soon to appear and bring George Eliot fame and fortune. In the meantime the SCENES won acclaim from a discerning readership including Charles Dickens: ' I hope you will excuse my writing to you to express my admiration...The exquisite truth and delicacy, both of the humour and the pathos of those stories, I have never seen the like of.'
Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880) is one of English literature's greatest and most influential novelists. Her novels, under the name of George Eliot include 'Adam Bede', 'Silas Marner','The Mill on the Floss', 'Middlemarch' and 'Daniel Deronda'. Jennifer Gribble was educated at the universities of Melbourne and Oxford. She is at present Associate Professor of English at the University of Sydney. Her publications include 'The Lady of Shalott in the Victorian Novel' and 'Christina Stead'.