The Narrator in George Eliot’s Fiction: Connections to Modernism



This article attempts to explore and identify literary connections between Victorian fiction as written and developed by George Eliot and Anglo-Saxon modernist literature of the first half of the twentieth century. It highlights the main similarities between Eliot’s intentions as a novelist and what the modernists intended their fiction to achieve. The article discusses  the intentional distinction between the author and the narrator, the characteristic of the latter known as unreliability, the interpretative tasks attributed to the reader, and the author’s interest in both humanism and psychic life as common features between Eliotian and modernist fictions.


George Eliot; modernist writers; narrator; unreliable narrator;humanism; psychology.

Texte intégral :



I. Primary Sources

Works by George Eliot

1. Fiction

Eliot, George. Adam Bede. 1859. Toronto: George N. Morang & Co., 1902.

---. Daniel Deronda. Vol. 1 & 2. 1876. Boston: Small Maynard & Co., 1908.

---. Daniel Deronda. Vol. 3. 1876. N. York: Harper & Brothers, 1910.

---. Felix Holt, the Radical. 1866. N. York: Worthington & Co., 1890.

---. Impressions of Theophrastus Such. 1879. N. York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1880.

---. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life. Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4. London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1871-72.

---. Romola. Vol. 1. Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz Editions, 1863.

---. Scenes of Clerical Life. 1857. N. York: The Walter Scott Publishing Co., 1902.

---. Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe. London & Glasgow: Collins Clear-Type Press, 1861.

---. The Mill on the Floss. 1860. N. York: P. F. Collier & Son Co., 1917.

2. Essays

---.“The Natural History of German Life.” Essays and Leaves from a Notebook. N. York: Harper & Brothers, 1889. 179-226.

3. Letters

Cross, J. W., ed. The Works of George Eliot: Life and Letters. N. York: The University Society Publishers, 1884.

Haight, Gordon, S., ed. The George Eliot Letters. Vol. 6. N. Haven: Yale UP, 1954.

Other Literary Works

Main, Alexander. Wise, Witty, and Tender Sayings in Prose and Verse. 2nd ed. London: Blackwood & Sons, 1875.

II. Secondary Sources

Critical Works on George Eliot

Dolin, Tim. George Eliot: Authors in Context. Oxford: OUP, 2005.

Harris, Margaret, ed. George Eliot in Context. Cambridge: CUP, 2013.

Levine. George, ed. The Cambridge Companion to George Eliot. Cambridge: CUP, 2001.

Newton, Kenneth. Modernizing George Eliot: The Writer as Artist, Intellectual, Proto-Modernist, Cultural Critic. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2011.

Rignall, John, ed. Oxford Reader’s Companion to George Eliot. Oxford: OUP, 2001.

Works on Philosophy & Literature

Blackburn, Simon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. 2nd ed. Oxford: OUP, 2005.

Grellet, Françoise. A Handbook of Literary Terms. Paris: Hachette Supérieur, 1996.

Price, Leah. The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel, from Richardson to George Eliot. Cambridge: CUP, 2000.

Works on Modernism & Modernists

Goldman, Jane. The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf. Cambridge: CUP, 2006.

Humphrey, Robert. Stream of Consciousness in the Modern Novel: A study of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, William Faulkner and Others. Berkeley: California UP, 1962.

Levitt, Morton. The Rhetoric of Modernist Fiction: From a New Point of View. N. England: UP of N. England, 2006.

Mahaffey, Vicki. Modernist Literature, Challenging Fictions. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.

Matz, Jesse. The Modern Novel: A Short Introduction. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

Richardson, Brian. Unnatural Voices : Extreme Narration in Modern and Contemporary Fiction. Ohio: Ohio UP, 2006.

Works on Psychology

Tallis, Frank. Hidden Minds: A History of the Unconscious. N. York: Arcade Publishing, 2002.


  • Il n'y a présentement aucun renvoi.

Direction des Publications et de l'animation scientifique

Université des Frères Mentouri Constantine 1. Route Ain El-Bey. 25000. Algérie.