Saturday, May 02, 2009

Five best books on reputation

For the Wall Street Journal, Tina Brown named a five best list of books on reputation.

One title on her list:
by George Eliot

My very favorite. In this masterly portrait of provincial life in 19th-century England, George Eliot anatomizes the fictional town of Middlemarch. We witness the ebb and flow of Middlemarchian reputations across hundreds of pages. Prominent among the many characters is Nicholas Bulstrode, a pious banker and pillar of the community who prides himself on his supposed self-denial and probity. But then a guilty secret from his past resurfaces -- in the figure of the blackmailing John Raffles, another banker! This juggernaut Victorian novel has it all when it comes to contemporary themes. As Eliot shows, the trophy wife is nothing new: Another plot thread is the course of the marriage of the decent Dr. Tertius Lydgate and the deadly, dainty Rosamond Vincy, who traps him, with her wheedling extravagance, into a slow descent toward ruin.
Read about another book on Brown's list.

Middlemarch also made John Mullan's lists of the ten best funerals in literature and the ten best examples of unrequited love in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue