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Publisher's Summary

Set in the turbulent years following the death of Lorenzo de' Medici, George Eliot's fourth novel, Romola, moves the stage from the English countryside of the 19th century to an Italy four centuries before her time. It tells the tale of a young Florentine woman, Romola de' Bardi, and her coming of age through her troubled marriage to the suave and self-absorbed Greek Tito. Slowly Tito's true character begins to unfurl, and his lies and treachery push Romola toward a more spiritual path, where she transcends into a majestic, Madonna-like role, while Tito descends further into corruption and villainy.... 

Impeccably researched, the novel features a cast of historical characters, including Girolamo Savonarola, Piero di Cosimo, and Niccolò Machiavelli, and draws parallels between the Republic of Rome of Eliot's day and the Republic of Florence ruled by Savonarola, most famous for its Bonfire of the Vanities, depicted here in vivid detail.

 PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

Public Domain (P)2020 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about Romola

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Good Book, Phenomenal Narration

George Eliot is hard to beat, and Lucy Scott's narration is incredibly good. It's probably the best narration I've heard, with every word given it's tone and meaning and phenomenal accents. Tito's accent alone is perfect, as she captures his charming good humor and easy nature with perfect skill.

The book itself is good too. Like all of Eliot's novels, it has a bad marriage and a moralistic, but questioning, character at it's center. Unlike the husbands in MiddleMarch and Daniel Deronda, Tito is neither cold nor brutal. Romola's repulsion of him is perhaps hard for modern readers to grasp. But the strong moral sense underlying Eliot's work makes it easier to see why she could not reconcile with his acts.

The 15th century Florence setting should be taken with a grain of salt. The historical events are real, and Eliot does a great job with side characters who give an "Italian" feel to the scene, but Romola is purely Victorian in her attitude, complete with it's moralism, individualism, and belief that personal conscience alone should dictate one's ethics. Highly recommended!

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Up there with Middlemarch.

Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish and Bill Powell made a movie based on Romola. Excellent.

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Late 15th Century Florence brought to life

Brilliantly brought to life and full of historical detail with perceptive insights into human nature. The depth of characterisation is remarkable. This novel is probably less universally accessible than other George Eliot novels I’ve read - namely Middlemarch, Silas Marner and Adam Bede - because of the setting but to those interested in Florentine history and the Renaissance should particularly enjoy it.
The character of Romola is believable and appealing as Tito is fascinating.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-20-21

the performance is one the best I ever had

I couldn't stopped listening, so well written ,the knowledge of Florence and history so great
the narrator did beautiful job