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.
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.
Rothwas 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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