The Triptych and the Cross: The Central Myths of George Eliot's Poetic Imagination - Felicia BonaparteThe Harvester Press, 1979, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good+ — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper very slightly rubbed at the edges. Upper board slightly sprung. Previous owners' inscription to the first blank. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Text complete, clean and tight.
From the cover: “George Eliot considered Romola to be the most nearly perfect of all her literary creations, yet readers have often found it the most difficult. In this book, Felicia Bonaparte offers a radically new reading of Romola, based not only on the text, but on Eliot’s own notes in her still unpublished Diaries, Commonplace Notebook, and Quarry for “Romola”. Her reading leads us to consider Eliot not only as a great realistic novelist, but as the first symbolic novelist in English as well. Bonaparte provides us with a new understanding of Eliot’s fiction, her development as an artist, and of the place of Romola in the history of the novel.
Under the author’s close inspection, the literal narrative of Romola proves to be a symbolic structure, which, through a complex network of mythological images, transforms the realistic historical novel into an epic poem. That epic poem is concerned not only with fifteenth-century Florence, but with the progress of all Western civilization, of which Renaissance Florence is the symbolic representation. Romola is an epic hero who journeys through the book, from her early life in the home of her pagan father, the Roman Stoic, and her subsequent marriage to Tito Melema, an embodiment of the pagan god Bacchus, through the Christian era in her discipleship to Savonarola, reaching finally the modern age which it is Eliot’s chief purpose to assess. Romola’s journey is the journey of Western man, and her response to the crisis of modern values is the response not only of the Victorian author, but, prophetically, that of twentieth-century man as well.”
Size: 9¼" x 6¼". Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine & Upper Board. [XI] 264 pages.