With an Introduction by Doreen Roberts, Rutherford College,
University of Kent at Canterbury 'Examine your words well, and you
will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a
very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your immediate
feelings...' Adam Bede (1859), George Eliot's first full-length
novel, marked the emergence of an artist to rank with Scott and
Dickens. Set in the English Midlands of farmers and village
craftsmen at the turn of the eighteenth century, the book relates a
story of seduction issuing in 'the inward suffering which is the
worst form of Nemesis'. But it is also a rich and pioneering record
- drawing on intimate knowledge and affectionate memory - of a
rural world that we have lost. The movement of the narration
between social realism and reflection on its own processes, the
exploration of motives, and the constant authorial presence all
bespeak an art that strives to connect the fictional with the
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