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Daniel Deronda

George Eliot

Book Overview: 

In this enduring Victorian classic, two stories weave in and out of each other: The first is about Gwendolen, one of Eliot’s finest creations, who grows from a self-centered young beauty to a thoughtful adult with an expanded vision of the world around her. The second is about Daniel Deronda, adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman who becomes fascinated with Jewish traditions when he meets an ailing Jewish philosopher named Mordecai and his sensitive sister, Mirah.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . in magnificent perruques, and ladies of the prize-animal kind, with rosebud mouths and full eyelids, according to Lely; then a generation whose faces were revised and embellished in the taste of Kneller; and so on through refined editions of the family types in the time of Reynolds and Romney, till the line ended with Sir Hugo and his younger brother Henleigh. This last had married Miss Grandcourt, and taken her name along with her estates, thus making a junction between two equally old families, impaling the three Saracens' heads proper and three bezants of the one with the tower and falcons argent of the other, and, as it happened, uniting their highest advantages in the prospects of that Henleigh Mallinger Grandcourt who is at present more of an acquaintance to us than either Sir Hugo or his nephew Daniel Deronda.

In Sir Hugo's youthful portrait with rolled collar and high cravat, Sir Thomas Lawrence had done justice to the agreeable alacrity of expression and . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Once upon a time, I was on a long train journey, and one of my compartment's neighbors, watching me reading for a lengthy period in a frozen silence, asked me which word in human's vocabulary was the most valuable. My reply was spontaneously uttered, "Love". The man was surprised. He said he had exp

(Re-read from June 07 to June 12, 2012)

I had forgotten what a hard work reading Daniel Deronda was. It has to be Eliot’s most challenging and overwhelming novel, yet such a great pleasure to read and re-read! It's enormously ambitious novel, broad in its scope, space, time and history. The setting i

While ostensibly the story of one Daniel Deronda, a young man of (we learn) unknown parentage, raised to be an educated Englishman of worth and standing, this novel is also the tale of Gwendolen Harleth, and how their lives intersect. We are introduced to both early on and see them off and on over t

Now here’s a book that combines two of my very favorite things: classic British romance with – YES! – Jewish themes. Marian Evans a/k/a George Eliot even went to Frankfurt am Main to do research for the book – in the times of no less than Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch! I think I’ve found a thesis topic i

This was one of those long stories that in the end were worth a read. I have previously read “Middlemarch” by George Eliot, but in many ways I find “Daniel Deronda” to be a different story that is interesting in many ways.
Our main character, Gwendolen, is quite a character. She’s selfish, attention

(Thursday) It may take me a while to review this - I am en route to Scotland for a walking weekend and in any case I'm not sure anything I say can do it justice.

(Sunday) Daniel Deronda is Eliot's last novel, and I have wanted to read it ever since reading Sophie and the Sybil by Patricia Duncker a c

“It is a common sentence that knowledge is power; but who hath duly considered or set forth the power of ignorance? Knowledge slowly builds up what ignorance in an hour pulls down.”

“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.”

Oh dear, I was supposed to be rereading this over a couple of months with a book group... but it's so darn gripping even on a second read that I've ended up rushing ahead and finishing it due to the proverbial 'couldn't put it down'...

My original review is below but on this reread I was struck by th


This novel was renewed my interest on how George Eliot wrote. I am highly tempted to read more about her and approach literary evaluations of her writing, but before I do so I want to read Adam Bede and Silas Marner and may be reread The Mill on the Floss.

When I read Romola I consider

I finished this book about a month ago and have been letting my thoughts first simmer and then actually almost get pushed onto the back burner as our summer holidays began. Once I decided to look over my notes, I realized that a review might be quite overwhelming. Furthermore, the book did not neces

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