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Clairvoyance, economics and authorship in George Eliot's ‘The Lifted Veil’

Willis, Martin ORCID: 2005. Clairvoyance, economics and authorship in George Eliot's ‘The Lifted Veil’. Journal of Victorian Culture 10 (2) , pp. 184-209. 10.3366/jvc.2005.10.2.184

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Ever since George Eliot’s ‘The Lifted Veil’ was lifted from relative obscurity in the early 1980s critical commentators have sought to find in it parallels and allegiances with her novel-length fictions. Others have tried to justify its difference from those fictions by recourse to Eliot’s personal biography. Few, if any, have argued that the gothic short story betrays the anxieties of Eliot’s professional life as it reached points of particular crisis in 1859. Yet there is substantial evidence to support a reading of the ‘slight story’ as a fictional examination of the forms of speculation that were both demanded of George Eliot and which she herself saw as vital in her continuing writing career. Through the partial previsionary clairvoyance of the central character, the speculative financial projects of his father, and the circular narrative that begins by revealing the story’s conclusion, Eliot investigates the complexity of speculative futures as they pertained to her own development as a professional writer of fiction.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISSN: 1355-5502
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:44

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