Macy Halford

  • George Eliot in Love

    There is no more powerful force in George Eliot’s fiction than marriage. It wrecks her characters’ health, forces them to give up their professional ambitions, and reveals them for who they really are. A “liberal allowance of conclusions,” Eliot writes at the beginning of Middlemarch, “has facilitated marriage under the difficulties of civilization. Has any one ever pinched into its pilulous smallness the cobweb of pre-matrimonial acquaintanceship?”

    This skepticism about marriage seems at first to be borne out by the best-known detail of Eliot’s personal life: She lived for nearly twenty-five