© 1998

George Eliot and Italy

Literary, Cultural and Political Influences from Dante to the Risorgimento


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Andrew Thompson
    Pages 1-5
  3. Andrew Thompson
    Pages 68-83
  4. Andrew Thompson
    Pages 84-97
  5. Andrew Thompson
    Pages 120-144
  6. Andrew Thompson
    Pages 161-172
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 196-243

About this book


This study considers George Eliot's novels in relation to Dante and to nineteenth-century Italian culture during the Italian national revival and shows how these helped shape her fiction. Thompson argues that Eliot was able to draw selectively on a powerful Risorgimento mythology of national regeneration and that her engagement with the work of Dante Alighieri increases steadily in her later novels, where the Divine Comedy becomes a sustaining metaphor for Eliot's meliorist vision and for her theme of moral growth through suffering.


culture fiction George Eliot Italy novel poetry

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of GenoaItaly

About the authors


Bibliographic information


'[A] distinctive contribution to the burgeoning literature on nineteenth-century British enthusiasm for all things Italian...sure to be eagerly devoured accordingly.' - Literature & History