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Book by Eliot George
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WHO that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa,' has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand - in - hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide - eyed and helpless - looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve. That child - pilgrimage was a fit beginning. Theresa's passionate, ideal nature demanded an epic life: what were many - volumed romances of chivalry and the social conquests of a brilliant girl to her. Her flame quickly burned up that light fuel; and, fed from within, soared after some illimitable satisfaction, some object which would never justify weariness, which would reconcile self - despair with the rapturous consciousness of life beyond self. She found her epos in the reform of a religious order.
That Spanish woman who lived three hundred years ago was certainly not the last of her kind. Many Theresas have been born who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of far - resonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur ill - matched with the meanness of opportunity; perhaps a tragic failure which found no sacred poet and sank unwept into oblivion. With dim lights and tangled circumstance they tried to shape their thought and deed in noble agreement; but after all, to common eyes their struggles seemed mere inconsistency and formlessness; for these later - born Theresas were helped by no coherent social faith and order which could perform the function of knowledge for the ardently willing soul. Their ardour alternated between a vague ideal and the common yearning of womanhood; so that the one was disapproved as extravagance, and the other condemned as a lapse.
Some have felt that these blundering lives are due to the inconvenient indefiniteness with which the Supreme Power has fashioned the natures of women: if there were one level of feminine incompetence as strict as the ability to count three and no more, the social lot of women might be treated with scientific certitude. Meanwhile the indefiniteness remains, and the limits of variation are really much wider than any one would imagine from the sameness of women's coiffure and the favourite love - stories in prose and verse. Here and there a cygnet is reared uneasily among the ducklings in the brown pond, and never finds the living stream in fellowship with its own oary-footed kind. Here and there is born a Saint Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heart -beats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centering in some long recognisable deed.
The main focus in Eliot's portrait of Victorian provincial life concerns Dorothea's suppression of her youthful vitality to serve Casaubon, her cold pedant of a husband; and Doctor Lydgate, whose noble aspirations are thwarted by being shackled to a silly, selfish wife. The whole teems with characters freighted with Eliot's passions, including politics, religion and social reform. The pleasure of Juliet Stevenson's spell-binding narration is not just her own beautifully modulated voice, but the subtly different voices she gives to each of them. --Rachel Redford, The Oldie
Winner of 2012 Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration Juliet Stevenson brings crisp clarity, a witty sensibility, and a charming tonal quality to Eliot's masterpiece of provincial life. Through her deft management of pacing and tone, she reveals character motivation and illuminates the many themes of the novel. But most of all she reclaims Eliot for listeners who thought they did not enjoy classics. --Rusa
Juliet Stevenson is unmatched in her narration of George Eliot's sweeping novel, which puts a lens to the fictitious English town of Middlemarch. Eliot's complex plot takes the listener into various households and lives, revealing scandal, secret longings, and unexpected ties. Stevenson's pleasant, friendly voice makes this relatively lengthy audiobook a listening delight. She enhances the narrative passages through her consistent enthusiasm and ease of language. Capturing the voices of Eliot's characters adeptly, Stevenson shifts flawlessly from gruff elderly bachelors to flirtatious young women. She displays a keen ability for a range of British accents, perfectly sorting the servants from the aristocracy and everyone in between. Stevenson's execution heralds the triumph of female spirit that Eliot embodies within this literary classic. --AudioFile
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Description du livre Etat : New. New. N° de réf. du vendeur M-0140230246