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The Emancipated

George Gissing

Book Overview: 

In Italy, everything is possible. Or, at least, much more than in the oppressive social order of the Victorian era. A group of British expatriats go to tour the country and do things they might live to either bless or regret. This book details their adventures and search of identity. The central question remains clear: can one be completely free? And, if so, is the price too high?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .attribute to him that which he gave no sign of harbouring? Why must she be mysteriously conscious of his inner being, rather than take him ingenuously for what he seemed? She had instruction and wit, but she was only a girl; her experience was as good as nil. Mallard repeated that to himself as he looked at Mrs. Baske. To a great extent Cecily did, in fact, inhabit an ideal world. She was ready to accept the noble as the natural. Untroubled herself, she could contemplate without scepticism the image of an artist finding his bliss in solitary toil. This was the ground of the respect she had for him; disturb this idea, and he became to her quite another man—one less interesting, and, it might be, less lovable in either sense of the word.

Spence maintained a conversation with Miriam, chiefly referring to the characteristics of the scene about them; he ignored her peculiarities, and talked as though everything must necessarily give her pleasure. Her face p. . . Read More