"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.
"George Eliot's humanity colors all her other gifts-her humor, her morality, and her exquisite rhetoric." -Henry James
George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann, or Marion, Evans (1819-1880), was the author of several novels including Silas Marner. Middlemarch is considered not only her finest work, but one of the greatest English novels of the 19th century.