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Old 24th Jul 2004, 19:12   #12
eats too much cheese
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Join Date: 16 Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 1,296

Originally Posted by John Self
No doubt; but isn't it also the case that Middlemarch is an historical novel, published in 1871 but set around 1830 (and so actually pre-Victorian)? It's tempting for us - I certainly do - to presume that anything written more than 100 years ago must have been describing the society of that time, and finer distinctions of a few decades here and there become lost. So Eliot could also have been telling her late 19th century readers what things were like in the early 19th century.
Can't say I've noticed any particular reference to a date, but I'm quite willing to believe that I've made exactly the mistaken presumption you describe. Your description makes perfect sense, in fact.

Perhaps that lengthy 'Foreword' thingy might have come in handy...
"I learned never to drink anything out of a jar labeled 'w-i-s-k-i.'"
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