What was I created for?

What was I created for?

A widely asked question, surely.  Here it is one of the key protagonists of Bronte's Shirley, the heroine Caroline.  Curiously, although the novel is named after her friend, the fine and sprightly Shirley, Caroline takes up at least as much of the book and all of the...

Of hate and misery

Of hate and misery

Bronte has a sometimes arresting pithiness, and here she provides an explanation for the hatred underlying riots and machine wrecking in the early decades of the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution was picking up pace.  The novel captures a period when...

Whatever is splendid in humanity

Whatever is splendid in humanity

This lovely phrase about sums up what motivated me to create this and other websites, to celebrate some of 'whatever is splendid in humanity'. It is part of a description by Aldous Huxley of why he so likes Piero della Francesca, and it made me warm to him too.  And...

A quotation is a cicada

A quotation is a cicada

Having built this ever expanding website partly as a way to share the thousands of quotations captured over decades of reading, I like Mandelstam's strong assertion.  And poet as he is, he uses irresistibly original similes - a quotation as an ever-chirruping cricket...

Putting everything right

Putting everything right

Grossman's capacity to capture, with simplicity and delicacy, the nature and strength of love in many contexts is always touching.  Here he conveys something of the closeness of a long marriage.  I am not yet grey-haired and haven't been married long, but we have been...

The gift of our stories

The gift of our stories

Robert Chandler is a translator of one of my most admired tellers of human stories, Vasily Grossman.  Grossman's skill lies  in illustrating the realities and dangers of vast people-grinding ideologies through the details of ordinary lives.  I like that his translator...

One breaks into the canon only by aesthetic strength, which is constituted primarily of an amalgam: mastery of figurative language, originality, cognitive power, knowledge, exuberance of diction.  

Source: The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, Harold Bloom (London: Macmillan, 1995), p. 29

Music as trinity

Music as trinity

Aldous Huxley here likens music to the Trinity due to its capacity to say more than one thing at the same time, and then to combine those into a single thing.Music can say four or five different things at the same time, and can say them in such a way that the...

Who needs maps?

Who needs maps?

Here is a long winded anecdote, no doubt embellished in the re-telling, which you can stash away in your own postprandial story-store.  And feel free, if you tell it yourself, to further embellish it.   I thought about recording an audio version, but can't bring...

Merry Christmas dear kind readers

Merry Christmas dear kind readers

Dear Kind Readers,WritingRedux wishes you a Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and in any case a hefty dose of Peace on Earth along with an injection of Goodwill to All, to boost your all round resilience in these trying times. In addition, and more specifically,...

An electric moment

An electric moment

Having a soft spot for foxes, I loved this description of a hair-raising drive careering through the mountain roads of Ithaca in the 1950s, with a fox appearing on the road and showing no concern or fear even with a car-load of men shouting at him.  You can imagine...

It will do what it is supposed to do

It will do what it is supposed to do

Listening time: 7 minutes.  This marvelous prose-poem comes from a travel book by the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who toured a number of Soviet Union states in the 1960s. In Georgia he meets a maker of cognac, and proceeds with a beautiful account of the...

Sheer from the sea

Sheer from the sea

In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, Louis Golding sailed passed Ithaca.  Minds were on other things than Homer and Odysseus, but this evocative statement about the island, uttered by a sailor on the boat deck, must have contributed to his long-delayed but...

Ancient travellers

Ancient travellers

Perhaps this is obvious, but it had never occurred to me in any conscious way, and I wonder how far it is true, as I have a romantic image of people navigating by the stars. Will think about this today when we are travelling to Brazil on a night flight.  Will think of...

Quail not

Quail not

In the 1950s Louis Golding loosely followed the footsteps of Odysseus in a quest to reach Ithaca after three decades of detours.  He occasionally resorted to 20th century transport options.  This was in the relatively early days of the automotive age when safety...

Meat or fish?

Meat or fish?

On a delightful 20th century Odyssey to Ithaca, Golding is offered the choice of fish or meat.  He explains what prompted him to opt for the former. "You like fish, yes?  Maybe meat?"  Vanya removed a lid.  From the depths of the saucepan the heads of three lambs...

The poet as compass

The poet as compass

An enigmatic statement, perhaps born of the difficulty of pinning down Odysseus' journey on a real map, although there is no shortage of claims that this bay, or that island, or those straits are unquestionably this, that or the other eventful point on his journey. ...

Of golden taps and super-men

Of golden taps and super-men

An interesting insight by the writer Louis Golding when he visited the Achilleion in Corfu in the early 1950s.  The palace was built for the Hapsburg Empress Elisabeth, commonly called Sisi, as a summer refuge which she commissioned following the death of her...

Accumulated silence

Accumulated silence

I found this idea interesting, that suffering comes to lodge in us from the first time we hesitate to speak.  That said, I also believe that there are moments when holding back on speech can save us from ourselves, and so avoid later regret and suffering. A fine line...

Two children, two voices

Two children, two voices

I found this a novel way of describing voices, using poetic terms. Two small children: one voice dactyl, one voice spondee. You'll recall that a spondee, as its own internal rhythm suggests, is a tum-tum beat.  A dactyl is a long foot followed by two hops, something I...

One month or five years

One month or five years

Although I can't vouch for its accuracy, I liked this neat formula for deciding how long to spend getting to know a new country.  Not surprisingly, Steinbeck and Capa chose the one month version rather than the full five years for their visit to the Soviet Union.  It...

A definition of an Englishman

A definition of an Englishman

Gideon is one of several delightful, exasperating, original characters who became friends with Lawrence Durrell during the two years he spent in Rhodes after the war, when the British administered the island ostensibly to get it back on its feet.  It was a magical...

Fine with wine

Fine with wine

Gideon is one of a group of lively friends of Durrell during a wonderful two year stretch when the Brits administered the island of Rhodes after the war.  Here he comes up with the innovative idea of fining himself for lapses of judgement or manners, with the fine...

Bad news down the toilet

Bad news down the toilet

A kindly act by a local girl helping Lawrence Durrell with his housekeeping during his idyllic two year stay on the island of Rhodes immediately after the war.  I consider her treatment of potentially bad news to be laudable, if inconvenient. Also love her reaction...

Piff paff

Piff paff

A conversation between Lawrence Durrell and a philosopher-fisherman called Manoli, during Durrell's two year stint working for the British administration in Rhodes after the war. Manoli gives his views on the English as compared to the Greeks.  I like his piff-paff...

Normality and absurdity

Normality and absurdity

Grossman is a master of capturing tiny details that show something touchingly ordinary in an extraordinary setting.  Here, modelled on a real and ruthless individual who caused the deaths of countless innocents in Stalin's purge-fest, he describes a domestic world at...

A servant with a tray

A servant with a tray

Just read Durrell's enchanting Marine Venus, as beautifully written as his other Greek isle stay, Prospero's Cell.  This one takes in a great draught of Aegean light and brightness in Rhodes.  Durrell was sent there as part of the post-war army administration which...

Water wild

Water wild

A splashing description of sheer untrammelled liquid joy in the second otter Gavin Maxwell claimed from the wild.  This turned out to be a new species that was named after him ('Maxwell's Otter). As Maxwell's Ring of Bright Water and Henry Williamson's superb Tarka...

Pigtail prejudice

Pigtail prejudice

A charming example of prejudice, demonstrating its capacity to target just about anything, and with bewildering precision and disregard for logic: pigtails must be OK because sailors used to wear them (and we like sailors), but on the other hand, sailors only wore...

Signal versus noise, then as now

Signal versus noise, then as now

A recurring theme for me is that of signal versus noise.  The Information Age is awash with noise, but that can drown out the signals.  I often wonder what we are not picking up while gulching on oceans of information. This quotation comes from a superb trilogy of...

Complexity needs simplicity

Complexity needs simplicity

I liked this comment by a senior US army officer at an early Covid-19 briefing, though not sure how easy it is to deliver. This is an unbelievably complicated problem, and there is no way we are going to be able to do this with a complicated solution. We need...

An encounter with competence

An encounter with competence

One of the pleasures of reading Simon Winder, apart from his lightly worn, wit-woven erudition, is the passing comments regarding his failings and inadequacies, real or perceived. Here, he visits the Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt and finds himself falling far...

Laying on a spread

Laying on a spread

You may have noticed that I can't resist descriptions of feasts, be it fine breakfasts, picnics, or other spreads.  Here are two of the most outrageous I've come across, mildly sickening for their carnage of birds and beasts. They refer to upper class banquets,...

Zoo architecture

Zoo architecture

Always curious about the unwritten books people ponder, and I like Winder's quirkiness in noticing this obvious gap in the market. If anybody could write the definitive zoo architecture book, it is he, as he has a splendid eye for astonishing detail and a lively wit.I...

Sending sausages

Sending sausages

An endearing description of a local shop (local, as in only a few miles' rugged road away), unable to fulfill the customer's order but wanting to be helpful anyway, and so chucking in a completely unrelated product. Given that Gavin Maxwell needed the meths for...

Contains scenes of …

Contains scenes of …

Now, there's a concept, censoring for blandness rather than violence and passion.  Wonder if the film was a hit...I once saw a poster for a French film with a man and a woman in hats smiling at each other across a table in the countryside and the clearly bored film...

Always get a receipt

Always get a receipt

Rory Stewart walked the length of Hadrian's Wall, staying at the homes of strangers on the way.  Here he mentions one descended from a Victorian who had apparently captured the king of Afghanistan, a landscape Stewart had also got to know on foot. Something funny...

One wrong move

One wrong move

Babur is one of my favourite dogs, full of character and occasionally stubborn and ornery. Here his new master, Rory Stewart, accidentally hits him when trying to protect both of them from an attack by other dogs. It is sad to see the permanent effect this had on a...

War in all its gory

War in all its gory

Steinbeck met a number of people in the Soviet Union who had survived the worst depredations of the Second World War, including the battle for Stalingrad. Here he captures a grim snapshot of unforgettable trauma. 'They spoke of horrid things they could not forget. Of...

An insolence of goats

An insolence of goats

Reading Gavin Maxwell's lively description of a kitchen takeover by goats makes me wonder how we can call them collectively by a term so bland as 'herd'.  Surely, an 'insolence' would be better? Or an opportunism, or an agility of goats? Not the first alarming account...

Of time and mind

Of time and mind

A beautiful story about a Jewish school teacher in a town subjected to Nazi massacre. Rosenthal defends his right to commit suicide if life becomes unbearable. Time, and approaching fate, have worn him down, but his mind retains its sovereignty, visible through the...

The mule and the mare

The mule and the mare

Listening time: under 3 minutes Grossman writes with great empathy of animals and their experiences. Here an Italian mule, requisitioned to the war effort and finding itself transported to a boundless Russian plain, is hitched up to a cart alongside a mare. The two...

Ahead of his time

Ahead of his time

While I believe that 'cold statistics' properly deployed, can in fact help us take account of people's feelings and traditions, and avoid treating men like robots, nevertheless, there is a warning here, as we approach what has been described as a 'post-human'...

War wounds

War wounds

Listening time: 4 minutes.Among the warm-hearted and even funny accounts of people they met in the Soviet Union, this searing observation by John Steinbeck stood out, concerning a young girl apparently unhinged by the effects of war. Her near-feral and...

Of edible houses

Of edible houses

A donkey nabbed by the Italian army in the Second World War finds himself in Abyssinia where, from his perspective, the houses are edible. Having tasted this novel form of fodder, he is again exposed to the sickening slipperiness of a ship's deck with the rolling blue...

Mule meets Hamlet

Mule meets Hamlet

Grossman has a wonderful capacity to imagine the minds and feelings of animals, and while chronicling the horrors of man's inhumanity to man, doesn't forget to notice cruelty to animals, nor their staunch resilience and cleverness. In this short story, he traces the...

Something marvellous

Something marvellous

This wonderfully apposite quotation by Joan Miró turned up in The Economist's Espresso newsletter, apparently anticipating by decades this moment of isolation and quarantine. I hope, wherever you are, and however much confined, that you have at least some visual...

On cultural relations

On cultural relations

John Steinbeck and Robert Capa wrestle with their status in seeking some Soviet organization which would be willing to adopt and care for them during their month-long trip in the 1940s. Clearly, they fell through the cracks, being neither sponsored by the Writer's...

The stream of feeling

The stream of feeling

Casaubon comes late to marriage and having decided upon it, dives headlong into the expected stream of feeling, only to smack his head on the shallowness of his own emotions. George Eliot deftly evokes his disappointed realization that he lacks the wherewithal to feel...

The happiest time of life

The happiest time of life

Listening time: 3 minutes.  A beautiful description of the sheer, unbounded joy of being alive in a small mongrel dog who finds herself on the streets of a Russian city. Vasily Grossman's capacity to imagine the mind and feelings of animals is concentrated in this...

Mine’s bigger than yours

Mine’s bigger than yours

This is from an engaging Hungarian novel spanning the lives of a fictional Hungarian aristocratic dynasty, from the Congress of Vienna to the eve of the First World War - a great sweep of European history. The Esterhazys were one of the major Hungarian aristocratic...

Too much of a good thing

Too much of a good thing

When Steinbeck and Robert Capa found themselves stranded at an airport in the Soviet Union, they were offered copious quantities of tea. I loved the description of how much is too much. Care for a cuppa? 'The level of tea in our bodies had reached the thorax. And we...

The age of rumours

The age of rumours

Why let facts get in the way of a good prejudice? When John Steinbeck and Robert Capa let people know they were planning to visit Soviet Russia, they were subjected to reactions with a ratio of an ounce of reality to a pound of prejudice. I hope this example at least...

Nail a rumour and pin down a fact

Nail a rumour and pin down a fact

Steinbeck appears to have anticipated the age of fake news. This is particularly pertinent as we try to tease out virus fact from sickness fiction and some governments take steps to slow the churning of the rumour-mill. See another Steinbeck comment on the handling of...

Of fire and fizzle

Of fire and fizzle

This Hungarian historical novel spans the 19th century including the European mid-century revolutions which pretty much burned out, as summed up in this pithy conclusion. Perhaps the more enduring light comes from slower burning revolutions. 'Revolution blazes with a...

Change whispers

Change whispers

Although this isn't universally true, I liked the idea that great changes can begin with the whispers of a few people. From a compelling century-spanning historical fiction of the Austro-Hungarian empire from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to the eve of the First...

News then, and now?

News then, and now?

John Steinbeck's analysis of the nature of news at the height of the Cold War resonates still, drawing attention to the air-time and column inches given to punditry over reporting. Sometimes watching ten minutes of a pundit-panel I wonder what I've heard that has...

Steinbeck on Capa

Steinbeck on Capa

John Steinbeck was a good friend of the photographer Robert Capa, with whom he spent a month travelling in the Soviet Union, producing a vivid work of written and photographic reportage. Capa died a few years later in a war zone and this is Steinbeck's pithy tribute...

The dog who understood

The dog who understood

This mongrel, scooped up off the streets, in Vasily Grossman's imagined story of the real creature who was the first dog in space, has a Christ-like capacity for love and sympathy, including for her slightly dysfunctional space-programme master.  Here he explains to...

Church bells and cannon fodder

Church bells and cannon fodder

If swords can be beaten into ploughshares, the reverse is also true, and church bells can be melted down as iron fodder for cannon.  Here, a historical novel concerned with the 19th century Austro-Hungarian empire reminds us of this miserable transmogrification. A...

System in everything

System in everything

A curious exchange between Anna Sergeyevna and Bazarov in Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. Somehow, Anna's crisp response chills the romance of walking and seeing and even naming flowers. Last weekend we walked for a few hours, and with the use of a plant-spotting app, I...

Of ardent persistence

Of ardent persistence

One of my favourite literary dogs is Ottimo Massimo, who belongs to the tree-dwelling protagonist of one of Calvino's best stories. A small dachshund who goes a-courting dogs several times his size, occasionally with success.  His ardour is touching and funny. 'Ottimo...

A Greek showed up

A Greek showed up

Listening time: under 5 minutes.  From Steinbeck's masterful and lively account of travelling in the Soviet Union with Robert Capa. Chmarsky is their hapless interpreter who is pursued by a Kremlin gremlin, messing up many of his carefully orchestrated arrangements. ...

The massive effects of slight coincidences

The massive effects of slight coincidences

I liked this notion that centuries, as much as individuals, can be greatly affected by apparently insignificant coincidences, or even just incidences. This is a 19th century-spanning history of a Hungarian aristocratic family swept up in the turbulences of the...

One foot in, one foot out

One foot in, one foot out

A wry response to the observation by his future brother-in-law regarding Mr. Casaubon's suitability for marriage.  The old dry-as-dust scholar-curmudgeon having one foot in the grave, seems to view marriage to a glowing young woman as a means to extricate it. 'What...

On being attentive and polite

On being attentive and polite

If Dorothea, the heroine of George Eliot's Middlemarch, doesn't win you over with her profound and subtle range of human qualities, surely her respectful empathy towards canine feelings is a vote-winner. I love her careful attention to them, and the delicacy with...

The claptrap of monarchy

The claptrap of monarchy

According to the photographer Robert Capa, museums were the churches of the Soviet Union, where he spent a month in 1946 with John Steinbeck. Here they traipse around the royal museum weighing up the regal bling, wonderfully described as the 'claptrap of monarchy',...

Making up

Making up

The friendship of John Steinbeck and Robert Capa was strong, despite some funny frictions during their month-long trip to the Soviet Union.  Idiosyncratic characters both, and both no doubt exasperating at close quarters, probably Steinbeck was the more infuriating,...

Cocktails in Kiev

Cocktails in Kiev

Listening time: 2 minutes.  On their travels to the Soviet Union in 1946, John Steinbeck and Robert Capa were surprised to encounter something as Western-decadent as a cocktail bar; and they delighted in the simultaneous variety and uniformity of its cocktails....

Survival savvy

Survival savvy

Listening time: under 4 minutes. Inspired by the true story of a dog trained by the Soviets to go into space, Vasily Grossman imagines her life in this enchanting short story. What a life, and what a creature, Christ-like in her loving generosity yet as shrewd as...

Three in one

Three in one

Listening time: under 4 minutes.  One of the finest pieces of prose I have read in a long time is by the photographer Robert Capa, presenting his 'legitimate complaint' about his friend and travelling companion John Steinbeck (Steinbeck's own complaints about Capa...

Lost in Russia

Lost in Russia

The American writer John Steinbeck and the photographer Robert Capa spent months preparing for their trip to the Soviet Union in 1947, much aided by a philosophic bar-man and his cocktails. However, their plans fell flat at the first hurdle, which was to have someone...

This I do not know

This I do not know

One of the best books I read last year is The Russian Journal of John Steinbeck. He spent a month in the Soviet Union with the photographer Robert Capa - the one writing limpid, lively, funny, succinct and compassionate prose and the other taking equivalent photos....

The magic fabric of life

The magic fabric of life

We forget, mostly, that we live in a time of unprecedented mass luxury and ease. Yes, we are messing up ecosystems and climate systems, but access to communications, clean water, electricity and a myriad other miracles is growing and with more ingenuity and some...

A gardener to the roots

A gardener to the roots

This gardener, who tends the castle grounds of the monstrous pile of Gormenghast, is driven by something more than the beauty and colour of the flowers he grows, rather by their vital sap or something similar.  He must have tapped into, or been made of, the same...

A weight of glory

A weight of glory

Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and if you don't, may you in any case enjoy bright stars and their weight of glory. The message of the day is an ancient one: peace on earth and goodwill to all men. 'The stars shone so brightly that they made a weight of glory in...

Worth the expense

Worth the expense

George Eliot can be pithy, here singling out someone as being unworthy of the bullet a character might like to send them. See another curious quote on the cost of bullets, and one about a man who was likened to one. 'He would be as pleasant a mark for a bullet as I...

Of borders and beverages

Of borders and beverages

This description of what really marks a border between one country or region and another delighted me. It boils down to the habitual brew offered to a guest. Rory Stewart crosses from coffee country to tea terrain, which itself graduates from black to...

Care package

Care package

Rory Stewart has a moment of home comfort when some British soldiers he encounters on his hike across Afghanistan brew him some tea and send him on his way with other goodies, no doubt all the more welcome for being so familiar in a remote place. I liked the selection...

Chests as broad as horses

Chests as broad as horses

One of several heart-warming accounts of Rory Stewart's random encounters with British soldiers in Afghanistan.They always show him and his dog kindness, providing momentary reprieve from remoteness; see the bag of home comfort food they also shared.According to...

How to mess up an interview

How to mess up an interview

What's the gravest problem facing the UK?  Brexit? Not a bit of it. I loved this response of Harry Eyres during his civil service interview.  Needless to say, it didn't help him get the job.Probably wasn't cut out for it anyway.'At my final board in the Civil Service...

Government as jugglery

Government as jugglery

According to this 9th century vizier, policy is what you end up with once you've figured out what works. You throw a few balls in the air and if they don't fall to the ground with a thud, bingo, you have a policy.  Or to use another analogy, you lob a handful of ideas...

I love Babur – II

I love Babur – II

Again, splendid, awkward Babur, the massive mutt picked up by Rory Stewart while trekking across Afghanistan.  Usually Rory has to yank, drag and generally cajole the dog into continuing. Here the roles are reversed when Rory comes close to calling it a day, lying...

I love Babur – I

I love Babur – I

One of the great dogs I've met through reading is Babur, whom Rory Stewart acquired, against his better judgement, while hiking across some of the remoter regions of Afghanistan.  Babur is big, stubborn, brave, fearful, and loveable.Here he lays claim to new territory...

Pocket money sexism

Pocket money sexism

Tom Tulliver once again spurns his sister, putting her in her place in a depressing translation of boy-versus-girl worth in terms of Christmas gift money.The novel in many ways revolves around the close, loving but inharmonious relationship between the siblings,...

Brother and sister

Brother and sister

George Eliot's Mill on the Floss is largely about the relationship between Tom and Maggie Tulliver, brother and sister. Her needy love for him and his genuine but undemonstrative and somewhat superior fondness for her.  Summed up perfectly in this single sentence,...

Why fight?

Why fight?

Rory Stewart's trek across Afghanistan allowed him to meet some colourful characters.  Here he questions one of them to understand why he took up arms, first against the Russians and then against the Taliban. It boiled down to fending off unwelcome interference in the...

What’s the difference?

What’s the difference?

On his long trek across some of the remoter regions of Afghanistan, Rory Stewart found himself being presented as having a range of professions. Here the man introducing him is equally indifferent to accuracy in describing his religion and becomes baffled by his...

In celebration of later love

In celebration of later love

George Eliot noticed a bias in poets' treatment of love, a tendency to say many fine things about its first experience, and far fewer about those that happen later in life.I confess to having a special interest in sharing this quotation on this day, being the joyous...

Of tolerance and tender ears

Of tolerance and tender ears

500 years ago, in an age apparently less tolerant than our own, Erasmus made a plea for free speech, particularly in the form of mockery, providing only that its expression be without rage. I was struck by the contemporary ring of his comment on 'the tenderness of...

Dismissing death

Dismissing death

Rory Stewart's father could be pithy, taciturn, and funny (without necessarily trying to be).  Here his son tries to open up a discussion on some of the deeper sides of life, to which his old man gives short shrift.  He had a tendency to shut down unwanted...

Where is the chair?

Where is the chair?

An endearing philosophical philistinism in the elderly father of Rory Stewart. Ever practical, he had no truck with time-wasting on pointless speculations.I may be guilty of similar.'I've hated philosophy since university,' he said. 'I gave up when they asked me to...

Two points of view

Two points of view

Very important to keep an open mind and allow yourself the possibility of having more than one view point. How better to do so than by having both a front and a back parlour?And thank heaven for one's own exceptional qualities, which are matched, surely, only by those...

Of humbug and hypocrisy

Of humbug and hypocrisy

George Eliot makes a bold statement about wealthy Mr. Glegg's goodness of heart, until you get to the closing clause.  She has many such subtle ways of revealing human failing, which she records but rarely condemns overtly. Her writing also cautions readers against...

Changed identity – II

Changed identity – II

Again, Rory Stewart's guide-bodyguard, Qasim, resorts to invention in presenting his ward to people they meet on their hike across Afghanistan. In general, Qasim does not appear to have regarded Stewart's real identity, as a writer and a hiker, as worthy of mention....

Changed identity – I

Changed identity – I

Rory Stewart's hike across remote areas of Afghanistan began with a couple of bodyguards assigned to him whether he wanted them or not. The senior of these, Qasim, has a habit of giving Stewart varying identities, depending on the people to whom he is presenting him....

Changing the subject

Changing the subject

A young man in love learns a lesson in the limitations of egotism.  'She' is Maggie Tulliver, a beautiful human being both deeply loved yet in many ways greatly undervalued. She is one of the most honest and open of the richly developed characters in George Eliot's...

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