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Two Georges and Two Germanies: Gissing and Meredith Commence Debate

  • Richard Scully
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Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)

Abstract

George Meredith (1828–1909) was the first author since the Chesney period to again examine in any depth the subject of the political and military aspects of Britain’s relationship with Germany. In his youth Meredith him-self spent almost two years in Germany and received a German education at the Moravian School at Neuwied on the Rhine. While there, he gained an abiding appreciation for German literature, including the ‘fanciful fairy-lands of German Romanticism’ and in later life often referred to his time there as one of the key formative influences of his life.’ Steeped in notions of German intellectual brilliance, Meredith’s sympathies for the Prusso-German cause in the war with France were weakened by the siege of Paris, and one biographer has gone so far as to assert that the conflict ‘tore him apart’ emotionally (his wife was French).2 Though he was moved to ponder poetically the seeming transformation of ‘her that sunlike stood’ into one who proceeded only with ‘iron heel’, and also referred to the ‘marching and drilling’ of the great European powers, in Beauchamp’ s Career (1876), it was not until the 1890s that Meredith truly began to question again the nature of Britain’s relationship with the country of his own Bildung.3

Keywords

National Service Daily Mail British Author Potential Enemy German Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Note

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Copyright information

© Richard Scully 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Scully
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New EnglandAustralia

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