English, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 45 (2014)


Published by The George Eliot Review Online https://GeorgeEliotReview.org


The annotations to the first and second Penguin Classics editions of Daniel Deronda, by Barbara Hardy and Terence Cave respectively, and those of the Oxford World's Classics edition, by Graham Handley, weave a web like that attributed by Marvell to Cromwell - 'a net of such a Scope'' that very little has escaped its threefold curtain. Even so, one or two leavings that they missed or deliberately passed over might be worth recording here.

Chapter 1, p. 42:2 Do you mean that old Adonis in the George the Fourth wig?

Terence Cave passes over this entirely, but Barbara Hardy comments that it's 'A very mid-Victorian allusion to the bad old days before the image of the monarchy had been made respectable and domestic'. In fact, it is a Regency allusion, recalling the words that landed Leigh Hunt in jail when, in the Examiner of 22 March, 1812, he referred to the Prince Regent, the future George the Fourth, in the following dismissive terms: 'this Conqueror of hearts was the disappointer of hopes! - ... this Exciter of desire... this Adonis in loveliness, was a corpulent gentleman of fifty!'

Chapter 9, p. 123. Some readers of this history will doubtless regard it as incredible that people should construct matrimonial prospects on the mere report that a bachelor of good fortune and possibilities was coming within reach.

This echoes (and assumes for its irony) the opening sentences of Pride and Prejudice: