When the young nobleman Harold Transome returns to England from the colonies with a self-made fortune, he scandalizes the town of Treby Magna with his decision to stand for Parliament as a Radical. But after the idealistic Felix Holt also returns to the town, the difference between Harold’s opportunistic values and Holt’s profound beliefs becomes apparent. Forthright, brus
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One of the least read of Eliot’s novels; sitting in the middle of her output. I found it had a surprising resonance for today. It was published in 1866 but was set in the time of the Great Reform Act in 1832, when the vote was extended (not by much, the electorate increasing from about 500,000 to just over 800,000). As Eliot was writing the Second Reform Act was being promulgated. The landed classes and aristocracy were bringing on board some of the wealthier middle classes.
The plot cen