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Rosemary Ashton explores the many facets of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's complex personality, by turns poet, critic, thinker, enchanting companion, feckless husband, fabled conversationalist and guilt-ridden opium addict.
Introduction by Rosemary Ashton<P> The isolated, misanthropic, miserly weaver Silas Marner is one of George Eliot's greatest creations, and his presence casts a strange, otherworldly glow over the moral dramas, both large and small, that take place in the pastoral landscape that surrounds him.<P> When Marner is wrongly accused of crime and expelled from his community, he vows to turn his back upon the world. He moves to the village of Raveloe, where he remains an outsider and an object of suspicion until an extraordinary sequence of events, including the theft of his gold and the appearance of a tiny, golden-haired child in his cottage, transforms his life. Part beautifully realized rural portraiture and part fairy tale, the story of Marner's redemption and restoration to humanity has long been George Eliot's most beloved and widely read work.
While Bloomsbury is now associated with Virginia Woolf and her early-twentieth-century circle of writers and artists, the neighborhood was originally the undisputed intellectual quarter of nineteenth-century London. Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival resources, Rosemary Ashton brings to life the educational, medical, and social reformists who lived and worked in Victorian Bloomsbury and who led crusades for education, emancipation, and health for all. Ashton explores the secular impetus behind these reforms and the humanitarian and egalitarian character of nineteenth-century Bloomsbury. Thackeray and Dickens jostle with less famous characters like Henry Brougham and Mary Ward. Embracing the high life of the squares, the nonconformity of churches, the parades of shops, schools, hospitals and poor homes, this is a major contribution to the history of nineteenth-century London.