In Love with George Eliot
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About the Author
Kathy O'Shaughnessy has reviewed books for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, Financial Times, Independent, The Observer, TLS, New Statesman, The Spectator, and others. She has worked as Deputy Editor on the Literary Review, Arts & Books Editor of Vogue, Literary Editor of The European, and Deputy Editor of The Telegraph Arts & Books. Her stories have been published in Faber's First Fictions, and she edited and introduced Drago Stambuk's poems, Incompatible Animals.
"I devoured this, and it made me happy and excited. It reminded me of Toibin's The Master its representations of the psychology of the characters, their shifting ground, variegated moods, seemed to work in something like the same way, and with the same fineness. It's really beautifully tender, subtle, imaginative, saturated authentically (to my mind anyway) in another time and thought-world."
--Tessa Hadley, author of Late in the Day
"In Love with George Eliot is a clever, unconventional approach to the great novelist's life; it is easy to imagine that Marian Evans herself would have approved of the playful thoughtfulness with which Kathy O'Shaughnessy brings the private person behind George Eliot's public success alive."
--Dr Ruth Scurr, author of John Aubrey: My Own Life
"Classy, beautifully written and richly imagined--a novel that opens a door onto the past."
--Nicci Gerrard, author of The Twilight Hour
"In Love with George Eliot is a feverishly intense and beautifully rendered first novel, especially in its detail and sensitivity, that brings to life the woman and the legend."
--Marie Matteson, Readings
"Henry James was but one of many beguiled by Marian Evans (aka George Eliot)...In lucid, unshowy prose, O'Shaughnessy brings them all to life."
--Rose Shepherd, Saga
"[A] sensitive, impeccably researched and deeply pleasurable debut novel...As the best historical novels do, it absorbs the reader to such an extent that, even if they know the outline of the story, each page is a revelation."
"In Love with George Eliot is a real pleasure to read, even if you haven't read any of her novels."
--Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers
"A layered, tender portrait."
--Dani Garavelli, The Herald
"A revealing debut novel...a fascinating read."
--Mariella Frostrup, BBC Radio 4 Open Book
"Richly and sensitively described...O'Shaughnessy does us the favour of reminding us what an underrated erotic writer Eliot is."
--The Sunday Telegraph
"Compelling...a tender and haunting study."
--The Financial Times
"O'Shaughnessy's writing is full of delicious words...and brilliant descriptions. She is full of keen insights into Evans's character...This is an astute, skilful book."
"An accomplished tribute to one of our greatest authors."
--The Mail on Sunday
"This sensitive fictionalisation...is thoroughly absorbing."
"She gives a new life to these long dead, overdressed people, writing of them with an attentive and loving eye, forgiving them and understanding. Her take on the central mystery of Eliot's later life--marriage to Johnny Cross, a family friend to both her and Lewes and 20 years her junior, and on Cross' suicide attempt on their Italian honeymoon--is painfully believable."
--Helen Elliot, The Age
"In this beautifully imagined novel, the rich intellectual world in which Marian lived is brought alive." FOUR STARS
--Melinda Woledge, Good Reading
"The Eliot strand predominates as if Eliot herself was dictating like a whispering ghost."
--Mary Leland, Irish Examiner
"The novelist enters where biographers fear to tread...There is no doubt that O'Shaughnessy has saturated herself in the most important biographical and critical literature on Eliot."
--John Mullan, The Guardian
"Crack this one open at the beach and get ready to become obsessed with the story of England's greatest woman novelist."
--Rebecca Varcoe, Frankie Magazine