In 1864, George Eliot began writing her longest poem, The Spanish Gypsy. This ambitious project exhausted her, and her partner George Henry Lewes took the manuscript away from her for fear it was making her ill. She returned to it two years later, after finishing Felix Holt. She threw herself into the work, even visiting Spain as part of her research. Finally published in 1868 to mixed reviews, the poem not only has intrinsic merit but looks forward to Eliot's interests and concerns in her later work, especially Daniel Deronda. Following on from Pickering & Chatto's highly successful The Complete Shorter Poetry of George Eliot, this is the first scholarly edition of The Spanish Gypsy. Also edited by Antonie Gerard van den Broek, it benefits from full scholarly apparatus, including a substantial general introduction, textual variants and endnotes. The general introduction is based on detailed analysis of letters, journals, notebooks, proofs, as well as the manuscript itself (now held in the British Library).
The editor explains what Eliot read to research the poem, which parts caused her particular problems, summarises the poem's critical reception, and contextualises it within her wider oeuvre.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd