W104 | George Eliot, Her Life and Ideas


1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

In Person
BCC, Room G-12

9/28, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2

Five Sessions 

Limit 30 Participants

Mary Anne Evans, born 1819 in rural England, adopted many names in the course of her life. Today we know her as the novelist George Eliot. But before becoming George Eliot, she was the editor of the progressive Westminster Review, a translator of major philosophical works, and the author of witty essays on literature, art, and the status of women. Her partnership with the writer George Henry Lewes scandalized London society. She called herself “Mrs. Lewes” but Lewes was married to another woman and could not get a divorce. Eliot was the first person to translate Baruch Spinoza’s Ethics into English. Due to a publishing dispute, her translation was not published until 2020. In this course, we will explore Eliot’s unconventional life and how her philosophic ideas on freedom and moral responsibility are expressed in her masterpiece, Middlemarch.

Please note: This class is given in conjunction with Reading Middlemarch. You may take either course or both.  The novel Middlemarch will be referenced in class and it is assumed that attendees are reading Middlemarch or are already familiar with the novel.

Required Reading: Any edition of George Eliot's Middlemarch.

Alice Roth was awarded a B.A. from Swarthmore College (Philosophy) and an M.B.A. from Fordham University.  She  enjoyed a 35-year career in business and information technology and, in retirement, has returned to her first loves: philosophy and literature.

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