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The World Before Her

Deborah Weisgall

220 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0618746579 / ISBN 13: 9780618746576
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2008). First edition. First printing. Hardcover. Near fine/Near fine. A clean, tight copy. Comes with mylar dust jacket cover. Shipped in well-padded box. Smoke-free shop. Bruised corners. SALE. Bookseller Inventory # LW-652

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The World Before Her

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition...

About this title


A stunning novel about two women and two marriages -- George Eliot at the end of her life, and another woman a century later.

The year is 1880 and the setting is Venice. Marian Evans -- whose novels under the pen name George Eliot have placed her among the famed Englishwomen of her time -- has come to this enchanted city on her honeymoon. Newly married to John Cross, twenty years her junior, she hopes to put her guilt to rest. Marian lived, unmarried, with George Henry Lewes for twenty-five years, until his death. She took a tremendous risk and paid a high price for that illicit union, but she also achieved happiness and created art. Now she wants to love again. In this new marriage, in this romantic place, can this writer give herself the happy ending that she provided for Middlemarch’s Dorothea Brooke?

The parallel story of a sculptor named Caroline Spingold brings us to Venice one hundred years later, in 1980. Caroline’s powerful, wealthy older husband has brought her to the city against her will, to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. Having spent a perfect childhood summer in Venice with her parents, before her father left her mother, Caroline had vowed never to return.

In alternating chapters linked by the themes of art, love, and marriage, The World Before Her tells of these two women -- and their surprising similarities. In a city where the canals reflect memory as much as light, they both confront desire, and each assesses what she has and who she is. At the heart of this sumptuously and evocatively written novel lies the eternal dilemma of how to find love and sustain it, without losing one’s self.

From the Back Cover:

"A brief and beautiful story of how we get over love, and how we have changed in our struggles to name and contain it by marriage. The World Before Her is not the lightest book you'll pick up this summer, but it might be one of the smartest, and most vibrant." -- It is 1880 when Marian Evans-- pen name George Eliot-- has come to Venice on her honeymoon with John Cross, who is twenty years her junior. She wants so much to start again, to forget the death of her longtime partner, George Henry Lewes-- with whom she shared twenty-five years of happiness and art, to give herself the happy ending she provided for Middlemarch's Dorothea Brooke.  A century later, sculptor Caroline Spingold takes us to Venice again. Scarred by a summer she and her parents had spent in this city, she had vowed never to return. But now her powerful, wealthy older husband has brought her back, against her will, to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.  A novel of art, love, and the challenges of marriage,  The World Before Her tells of two women, their surprising similarities, and the reckoning this city of canals and bridges will force them to make with their desire, their memories, their very selves. "It all makes one yearn for Venice; for art; and for another novel just like this one." -- Buffalo News  Deborah Weisgall has written extensively about the arts — painting, music, performance — for the New York Times, the Atlantic, Esquire, Connoisseur, and The New Yorker. She is the author of the novel, Still Point, and the family memoir, A Joyful Noise. Weisgall lives with her husband and daughter in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

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