AbstractGeorge Eliot’s response to Romantic ideology is critically established. While most scholarship recognises the influence of William Wordsworth on her prose fiction, the affinities between Eliot’s prose and the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge remain relatively unexplored. A wealth of criticism has established Coleridge’s importance to nineteenth-century philosophical and religious thought, as well as to aesthetic discourse; critical discussion of his poetic influence is usually linked with contemporary and later poets. He is, however, often invoked as a major influence on Eliot’s intellectual development. Evidence of Coleridge’s direct influence on Eliot’s fiction is difficult to substantiate; this study offers readings that diverge from previous analyses by foregrounding Eliot’s engagement with Coleridge’s language. Focus on the language used by Coleridge and Eliot reveals thematic and linguistic similarities, as well as convergences in their use of metaphor and symbolism. Where divergences exist, they are examined with the objective of establishing a development or progression in the way ideas and concepts are expressed in Eliot’s fiction. The nature of this progression is analysed in terms of Eliot’s increased preoccupation with materiality.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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