Looking for someone to blame around the blogosphere as usual, this time I point the finger at Kirsty 'Other Stories' McHugh and hold her partly responsible.
I always turn to dear old George Eliot once the autumn leaves do fall, alongside Van (Morrison) of course singing The Leaves Come Falling Down, it'll be logs in from the woodshed any day now, the Aga hasn't been off all year bar about two days when we foolishly thought summer was upon us, and so another year wends its way.It's a funny farming year in the fields around us though, no combines up and down the lane in August, harvests have been ruined, wheat grain mashing up like porridge and impossible to dry out and silaging or haylaging (I can't tell the difference) going on frantically all night should it stop raining long enough.
So I ponder the George Eliot shelves and suddenly remember Ms Other Stories tripping the literary light fantastic over a recent read of The Mill on the Floss. Well I've never read it so it seemed like a good idea.
In view of the McHugh/OUP connection I probably shouldn't in that case knock the Oxford World's Classics edition or more specifically the cover. I just don't cope at all well with that rubicund girl with the eyes swivelled right looking at heaven knows what, in fact it's quite disturbing having her watching me turn every page in the book. I'm wanting to do an orthoptist's referral because the poor child seems stuck like it, go on try it for more than twenty seconds and tell me it doesn't hurt? I think the newer edition may have a slightly less florid version of the same picture on the cover, I know it's supposed to be Maggie Tulliver looking like a shetland pony but it's the eyes, they bother me still.
I don't have The Mill on the Floss on the e-reader either ( full e-reader update tomorrow) but decided to overcome prejudices and just start reading.
Remarkable because it was late at night, so late that three pages would probably have done the trick and sent me off to sleep, but sixty-four pages later I had to force an exit or I was going to struggle to get up for work the next morning.Then of course I couldn't sleep for thinking about it all.
What an amazingly good book? How have I not read it before?
Already I'm impressed with some surprisingly astute George Eliot observations on childhood which I tend not to associate with her even given my love of Silas Marner and little Eppie, and what a lovely objection Maggie has to patchwork,
'It's foolish work,' said Maggie, with a toss of her mane, - ' tearing things to pieces to sew 'em together again.'
Then that fine way George Eliot has of stepping into the narrative to admonish her reader for making hasty assumptions which she in fact has caused us to make in the first place. Don't you just love dear old George? Thanks Other Stories!