Yesterday's walk was completely in keeping with my current read, Adam Bede by George Eliot. I felt quite sure I would bump into Adam and Seth carrying a coffin with Gyp, panting at their heels, as I rounded each bend, or glimpse Hetty as I strolled into the churchyard.
Eliot didn't use Devon for her location there can be little difference
from the village of Hayslope. I am magically enthralled by Eliot's
writing again, Her masterey of characterisation and influence on her
reader has me falling into all the old traps. Not quite half way
through I have developed the intended dislike for Hetty Sorrel and her
vanity and am wondering whether Eliot will pull her masterstroke. I
should have learnt my lesson reading Middlemarch as I grew to loath
Casaubon and felt sorry for poor Dorothea, only to have Eliot turn the
tables on my judgement and take me to task mercilessly.
I think this may be different.
Reading Eliot's biography by Kathyrn Hughes in tandem with Adam Bede it is abundantly clear that Eliot is on her soapbox on the subject of beauty. This in the face of so much spite and malice levelled at her own, less than photogenic looks, makes me think she will find it hard to allow us to feel even a shred of heart rending emotion in Hetty's direction.
It is clear the poor girl is in for trouble, I shall need my wits about me if Eliot is not to snooker me again.