Love and Politics in the English Novel, 1840s–1860s
The title of this chapter is in a sense fraudulent: ‘Small politics and less love’ would be nearer the mark for Disraeli, Mrs Gaskell, and the George Eliot of Felix Holt. Each of the novels I want to consider here is minor, and each of them seems to me badly flawed. Compared with the best of English literature, these are not about either love or politics in any full sense of those words. They must, therefore, be very untrustworthy evidence of what love and politics might really have meant either in the period generally or, if it comes to that, in the lives of these authors.
KeywordsAntagonistic Attitude Unrequited Love Masochistic Pleasure Intelligent Woman Great Existence
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