First published in 1998, this volume proposes to shift the critical emphasis from a canonical author to her uncanonical text – from George Eliot to her novel Romola – and contends that this choice both broadens the range of interpretive possibilities and brings them into sharper focus.

The editors invited a variety of critics to put their different critical models to work on Romola and the results are fertile and suggestive: among the issues explored here are the domestic politics of marriage, the relationship between narrative and epistemology, the materiality of the text, the novel’s relation to nineteenth-century narratives of martyrdom, and the gendering of space. Such theoretical eclecticism, when focused on a common reference point, necessarily opens out into a dialogue among critical and interpretive models. Theory throws light onto Romola, just as Romola throws light onto theory.

chapter |13 pages


ByCaroline Levine, Mark W. Turner

part One|35 pages

Rethinking the Text

chapter Chapter One|19 pages

George Eliot v. Frederic Leighton: Whose Text Is It Anyway?

ByMark W. Turner

chapter Chapter Two|13 pages

The Texts of Romola

ByAndrew Brown

part Two|52 pages

Rethinking the Heroine

chapter Chapter Three|14 pages

Mapping Romola: Physical Space, Women's Place

ByShona Elizabeth Simpson

chapter Chapter Four|22 pages

‘Telling the Whole’: Trauma, Drifting and Reconciliation in Romola

ByJulian Corner

chapter Chapter Five|14 pages

From Romola to Romola: The Complex Act of Naming

BySusan M. Bernardo

part Three|88 pages

Rethinking Authority

chapter Chapter Six|17 pages

George Eliot Martyrologist: The Case of Savonarola

ByDavid Carroll

chapter Chapter Seven|12 pages

Power and Persuasion: Voices of Influence in Romola

ByBeryl Gray

chapter Chapter Eight|29 pages

The Prophetic Fallacy: Realism, Foreshadowing and Narrative Knowledge in Romola

ByCaroline Levine

chapter Chapter Nine|16 pages

'An Imperceptible Start': The Sight of Humanity in Romola

ByChris Greenwood

chapter Chapter Ten|10 pages

Angels and Archangels: Romola and the Paintings of Florence

ByLeonee Ormond