I was winning until I met your gaze...Gambling at the roulette tables of the Kursaal, Gwendolen Harleth glances up to meet Daniel Deronda's arresting stare. Striking, selfish and wilful, she is at that moment the mistress of her destiny. Thirty years on, the flawed heroine and true protagonist of Eliot's last great novel writes her confessional to the man whose ever-imagined gaze has prevailed throughout her life. The egotism, naivete and sensitivity of her blazing youth is evoked with bittersweet wisdom; a passionate remembrance of the events leading up to the marriage that broke her spirit, and the loss of the man who broke her heart. Moving, original and elegant, this is a bravura re-imagining of the life of one of English literature's most multi-faceted and contradictory heroines.
Gwendolen first makes an appearance in George Eliot’s classic tale Daniel Deronda, and here she takes centre stage as we follow the life and travails of this beautiful heroine. To save her family from a life of poverty and hardship when her mother is suddenly made penniless, Gwendolen accepts the offer of marriage from the wealthy Grandcourt, naively hoping that a life of luxury as his wife would more than make up for her lack of feelings for him. She chose to ignore the rumours of his past mis-demeanours only discovering, when it was too late, the true extent of Grandcourt’s cold and sadistic nature, and realised she had made a terrible mistake. Was there any way she could escape a life of misery? This wonderfully, compelling period novel is a clever mix of history and fiction, following headstrong, inexperienced Gwendolen, as she negotiates the restrictions put on Victorian women at that time.
'A bold feat of imagination ... The result is intriguing and moving ... a powerful meditation upon the nature of creativity. Both an arresting interpretation of George Eliot's work and a compelling fiction in its own right, Gwendolen will be whispering in my ear next time I go back to Daniel Deronda, reminding me to look for the story behind the story'
Rebecca Mead, author of The Road to Middlemarch
Publication date: 25/09/2014
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
|Publication date:||25th September 2014|
|Publisher:||Quercus Publishing Plc|
Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, and she has also written plays for radio and television. She won the Whitbread Biography Award for Selkirk's Island.More About Diana Souhami