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The Lifted Veil

George Eliot

Book Overview: 

Eliot here explores mystical themes, considering the world of phenomena which are felt but not seen. Yet in doing so she suggests that the apparent clairvoyance of her main character, Latimer, may in fact be, at least in part, psychological expressions of his early life experiences. This view is supported by the fact that most of Latimer’s vision-based predictions of how people will behave and events unfold do not, in the end, turn out as he had foretold.

Much of this work’s power and complexity lie in Latimer’s relationship with Bertha, whom he ultimately, unhappily, marries. Bertha is the one person whose thoughts and feelings he is not able to read, raising the question: What is it about Bertha that renders her inaccessible to his psychic penetration – and what does this tell us about her, and about him.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Homer saw the plain of Troy, that Dante saw the abodes of the departed, that Milton saw the earthward flight of the Tempter.  Was it that my illness had wrought some happy change in my organization—given a firmer tension to my nerves—carried off some dull obstruction?  I had often read of such effects—in works of fiction at least.  Nay; in genuine biographies I had read of the subtilizing or exalting influence of some diseases on the mental powers.  Did not Novalis feel his inspiration intensified under the progress of consumption?

When my mind had dwelt for some time on this blissful idea, it seemed to me that I might perhaps test it by an exertion of my will.  The vision had begun when my father was speaking of our going to Prague.  I did not for a moment believe it was really a representation of that city; I believed—I hoped it was a picture that my newly liberated genius had painted in fiery haste, with the colours snatch. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book won't be every reader's cup of tea. As the above description suggests, its subject matter was atypical for Eliot --though she wrote it in 1859, her publishers found it so different from her usual work that they delayed printing it until 1878. Premised as it is on psychic phenomena --flashe

Flowing first-person old-timey "overwritten" prose, an unhinged Gothic psychohorror starring the clairvoyant Romantic poet aristocratic narrator haunted by premonitions of Prague and marriage to his brother's beguiling bride Bertha, characterized as a sort of devious and delusive (<-- a word I've le

A supernatural novella tale of seeing into the future. A sickly man finds he can see into the future. His strong healthy brother dies leaving him available to marry his brothers fiancé. However, Bertha does not love him and instead despises him. Interesting reading about injecting live blood in dead

The story was a bit tedious starting with a flashback of a dying man on the days of his life. We hear about his education, his effeminate character, the brother, the successful father, his relationship to a close friend of his, Meunier. After his brother's death, mysterious Bertha is married to the

Is it the veil of reality that is lifting, or the notion of civility the moment two people lift the wedding veil of marriage in Victorian England? Is it superpowers or is it insanity? Either way, George Eliot spins a fascinating, if short, tale exploring these topics with The Lifted Veil.

Perhaps an

And she made me believe that she loved me. Without every quitting her tone of badinage and playful superiority, she intoxicated me with the sense that I was necessary to her, that she was never at ease, unless I was near to her, submitting to her playful tyranny. It costs a woman so little effort

Una novelita o nouvelle que se puede leer de una sentada, y mi primer contacto con la autora victoriana George Eliot. La he leído en traducción española, de la que existen al menos dos versiones con ligera variación en el título. El texto original inglés se puede obtener de forma gratuita, en format

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