© 2000

George Eliot and Intoxication

Dangerous Drugs for the Condition of England

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 1-14
  3. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 15-38
  4. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 39-56
  5. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 91-110
  6. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 111-134
  7. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 135-158
  8. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 159-182
  9. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 183-201
  10. Kathleen McCormack
    Pages 202-208
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 209-234

About this book


Throughout George Eliot's fiction, not only do a remarkable number of her characters act under the influence of unwise consumption of alcohol and opium, but drugs also recur often as metaphors and allusions. Together, they create an extensive pattern of drug/disease references that represent socio-political problems as diseases in a social body and solutions to those problems (especially solutions that depend on some kind of written language) as volatile remedies that retain the potential to either kill or cure.


bibliography body consumption corpus England fiction George Eliot knowledge landscape landscapes language metaphor pattern Victorian era

About the authors

Kathleen McCormack is Associate Professor of English in the State University System of Florida.

Bibliographic information


'Kathleen McCormack's George Eliot and Intoxication is striking in its originality, definitively establishing the importance of alcohol and other drugs as fact and metaphor in both George Eliot's world and Victorian culture at large. There are many new interpretations for the general reader and specialists will need to assimilate the book's many new findings and often startling speculations.' - Michael Wolff, Professor Emeritus of English, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

'...there is much in this lively study of intoxication that will stimulate.' - John Rignall, The George Eliot Review

'...this study is a valuable addition to George Eliot scholarship.' - Anna Despotopoulou, Essays in Criticism