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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. Years later, 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, who first makes an appearance in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, here takes centre stage. To save her family from 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 misdemeanours only discovering, when it was too late, the true extent of Grandcourt’s cold and sadistic nature, and realising she had made a terrible mistake. Was there any way she could escape a life of misery?
'When Eliot drops the thread, Souhami comes into her own ... Eliot neglected to find a proper home for Gwendolen. Souhami, with sympathy, mischief and imagination, gives her one'
Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'An act of breathtaking chutzpah: Gwendolen Harleth stands alongside Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Edith Wharton's Lily Bart as one of the most compelling characters in the history of the novel, and to assume creative responsibility for her is not for the faint-hearted ... It is intriguing, and it is brave' Guardian
Publication date: 07/05/2015
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
|Publication date:||7th May 2015|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Sagas and Romance,|
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