Eliot's Vernaculars

Amy M. King

in Bloom

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161519
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199787838 | DOI:
 Eliot's Vernaculars

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This chapter traces the way George Eliot's novels extend the courtship plot to nonmarital sexuality, or what Linnaeus called “clandestine marriage.” It explores how 19th-century natural history and its classificatory energies are employed by Eliot to not only represent versions of courtship anticipated by Linnaeus (yet neglected by novelists) but also to achieve, more broadly, a new kind of realism in which the representation of the social world is achieved through organizing principles derived from natural history.

Keywords: George Eliot; sexuality; clandestine marriage; Linnaeus; courtship; natural history

Chapter.  28231 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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