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Mystical nationalism and the rotten heart of empire: The tangled trope of marriage in Daniel Deronda

Miller, Meredith ORCID: 2017. Mystical nationalism and the rotten heart of empire: The tangled trope of marriage in Daniel Deronda. Lambert, Carolyn and Shaw, Marion, eds. For Better, For Worse: Marriage in Victorian Novels by Women, Routledge Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, pp. 83-100.

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From the earliest episodes of Daniel Deronda George Eliot places marriage within this national context and invites the reader to view the unions between her various characters in the light of both domestic-national and imperial power. Daniel Deronda is structured through three intertwined marriage plots: the socially and nationally significant marriage between Gwendolen and Grandcourt, the marginalized and sentimental marriage between Daniel Deronda and Mirah Lapidoth, and the cabalistic marriage of spirit that impregnates Daniel with the soul of Mordecai's religious nationalism. Daniel's narrative depicts a radical blending of culture by using the strategies of sentimental fiction to enact a marriage undisturbed by any eruptions of will on the part of its heroine. The secrets of sexual power and abuse, and their unspeakable nature, drive the novel's first studied use of Gothic effects. Eliot's various uses of the marriage plot in Daniel Deronda are an entwined doing and undoing of ideologies of gender and empire.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Additional Information: Copyright Year 2018
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138285644
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 08:06

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