The Lifted Veil

The Lifted Veil

Horror was my familiar.

Published the same year as her first novel, Adam Bede, this overlooked work displays the gifts for which George Eliot would become famous—gritty realism, psychological insight, and idealistic moralizing. It is unique from all her other writing, however, in that it represents the only time she ever used a first-person narrator, and it is the only time she wrote about the supernatural.

The tale of a man who is incapacitated by visions of the future and the cacophony of overheard thoughts, and yet who can’t help trying to subvert his vividly glimpsed destiny, it is easy to read The Lifted Veil as being autobiographically revealing—of Eliot’s sensitivity to public opinion and her awareness that her days concealed behind a pseudonym were doomed to a tragic unveiling (as indeed came to pass soon after this novella’s publication). But it is easier still to read the story as the exciting and genuine precursor of a moody new form, as well as an absorbing early masterpiece of suspense.

The Art of The Novella Series

Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.

Title:The Lifted Veil
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780976658306
Format Type:

    The Lifted Veil Reviews

  • Lynne King

    And she made me believe that she loved me. Without every quitting her tone of badinage and playful superiority, she intoxicated me with the sense that I was necessary to her, that she was never at ea...

  • Jan-Maat

    Two completely different works in this slim volume, a short short : The Lifted Veil (1859) (pp5-70) and a literary critical piece on women's fiction: Silly Novels by Lady Novelists (1856) (pp73-110) (...

  • Paul

    Quite an oddity for Eliot; a novella that can be read in one sitting and a first person narrator. It also has a distinct gothic edge and feels in the tradition of Mary Shelley and Poe. The themes are ...

  • Werner

    This book won't be every reader's cup of tea. As the above description suggests, its subject matter was atypical for Eliot --though she wrote it in 1859, her publishers found it so different from her ...

  • Fionnuala

    A few days after the incident of the opal ring, we were paying one of our frequent visits to the Lichtenberg Palace. I could never look at many pictures in succession; for pictures, when they are at a...

  • Nikki

    I haven’t read much of George Eliot’s work at all, which I should probably be more ashamed of. Still, a friend passed this and Brother Jacob on to me after she was done with it back at university,...

  • Lanie

    An unhappy man, who believes he knows exactly when and how he will die, tells his story. When I started this story it bored me. The main character, the narrator, seems lost in self pity. His life has ...

  • Kirsty

    My favourite aspect of Eliot’s writing is the way in which she crafts places. She does so incredibly deftly, and she weaves her settings and scenes into beautiful views which come to life in front o...

  • Marianna

    **3.5**This was so unlike George Eliot's style, very enjoyable nontheless! It was dark, atmospheric and heavy on the supernatural element. If you are in the mood for a dark victorian short story, read...

  • Jacob

    Good, but too short. Either this should have been a novel, or I should just read George Eliot's novels instead. Probably both....