Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood & Sons, 1860. First edition. Half calf with gilt to spines. Bindings rubbed at spines and corners; hinges of volume I cracked but holding well. Light offsetting to edges of pastedowns on all three volumes. All volumes bound with titles and half titles, each with Kelso Library stamp to header. Internally neat, with just faint toning to the pages; in all clean and unmarked. Pages 151-154 of volume I partially detached.
The most autobiographical of Eliot's works, The Mill on the Floss follows the sibling relationship of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, growing up in the Dorlcote Mill in the village of St. Ogg. Incredibly close in childhood, the pair suffer an irreparable rupture in adulthood as Maggie navigates the complexities of courtship, desire, and womanhood. The trajectory of their tragedy mirrors in many ways that of Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) and her brother Isaac. Like the Tullivers the pair had an incredibly close bond; and like Tom, Isaac would eventually exile his sister from his family and community because of her choice to live openly and unmarried the philosopher George Henry Lewes. A highly personal and honest exploration of the possible costs women faced when choosing between filial and romantic duties. (Item #3100)