"There is no book of mine about which I more thoroughly feel that I swear by every sentence as having been written with my best blood." Thus wrote George Eliot about Romola, the book which is central in her career as a novelist and amongst her most colorful, fluent, and persuasive works.
Set in Florence in 1492, a time of great political and religious turmoil, Eliot's novel blends vivid fictional characters with historical figures such as Savonarola, Machiavelli, and the Medicis. When Romola, the virtuous daughter of a blind scholar, marries Tito Melema, a charismatic young Greek, she is bound to a man whose escalating betrayals threaten to destroy all that she holds dear. Profoundly inspired by Savonarola's teachings, then crushed by the religious leader's ultimate failure, Romola finds her salvation in noble self-sacrifice.
(P)1998 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"George Eliot's humanity colors all her other gifts - her humor, her morality, and her exquisite rhetoric." (Henry James)
This is a sprawling, plentiful book. The style differs a little from the contemporary "show don't tell" maxim; as was customary in earlier literary fiction, the voice of the author can occasionally be heard, and in Eliot's case this is not a bad thing as her insights are interesting and erudite. Romola is a strong, multifaceted character, despite the difficult position of women in Renaissance Italy., although her husband Tito accommodates much of the action. Eliot has also done her historical homework. There is a lovely evocation of place and the dialogue, especially of the myriad charismatic characters, is convincing and entertaining. It was also fascinating to experience yet another take on the personality of Savonarola, somewhat more sympathetic than the scurrilously vengeful spit I bestow upon the ill-fated fellow's plaque whenever I am in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.
This reading of Romola is so fast I didn't persist despite being a Huge George Eliot fan
didn't get far enough to know
read too fast
waste of my money
This books requires a great deal of insider knowledge of all things historically Florentine, a knowledge I just don't have. I believe a glossary is available in some hard copies, but with the galloping narrator this audio version was beyond me. Baffling....
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