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The Lifted Veil (Fantasy and Horror Classics)

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Many of the earliest occult stories, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.


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Many of the earliest occult stories, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

30 review for The Lifted Veil (Fantasy and Horror Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    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 ease, unless I was near to her, submitting to her playful tyranny. It costs a woman so little effort to besot us in this way! George Eliot’s (born Mary Anne Evans) imagination cannot be faulted at all throughout this gem of a novella. It is a tour de force captured in a mere seventy-five pages. There’ 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 ease, unless I was near to her, submitting to her playful tyranny. It costs a woman so little effort to besot us in this way! George Eliot’s (born Mary Anne Evans) imagination cannot be faulted at all throughout this gem of a novella. It is a tour de force captured in a mere seventy-five pages. There’s something about nineteenth century novelists. There’s a crispness in their writing style in combination with the correctness of the language, in fact to the point of perfection, which isn’t so apparent in twentieth and twenty-first century authors. This book was published at the same time as Adam Bede but it has nevertheless been overlooked for a long time. It is also distinct from her other books in that she used a first-person narrator here. The need for Evans to resort to a pseudonym makes me wonder if she thought that her book would not be equally appreciated as she was a female writer in the Victorian age? The plot is indeed rather unusual and opens with Latimer, the narrator, realizing that the end of his life is approaching as he’s been having problems with angina; his physician does not believe either that his life will be protracted. Thus Latimer decides to tell the strange story of his own experiences. Deprived of a public school education, as it was a fact that he was too sensitive and shy to put up with the rough experience of a public school, the only avenue left open to him was to have private tutors. His father didn’t appear to be too fond of him and his preference was for the older boy, Alfred, his successor, who went to Eton and Oxford. But then Latimer’s life changed remarkably when he went to Geneva at the age of sixteen. However, he became ill there and his father decided to take him back to England. At this stage of his life our narrator was beginning to have visions and very odd things were happening to him. This was a gift that put him into a state of great excitement but before returning to England he met Bertha Grant and upon sight of her he fainted (I thought only women did that?]. Latimer then began to wonder if he had a mysterious disease. Bertha was to marry Alfred and our narrator then had a passion for this woman and the downward spiral began with a most unfortunate occurrence. He found that he could see into people’s souls, which showed him plainly that what people appeared to be on the outside were not that necessarily that way inside. Then he had foreseen an event that involved Bertha which proved to be true. For a young man who had never believed in evil, he had now reached the nadir of despair. The metaphysical and supernatural aspects of this novella are exquisitely described. Eliot’s mastery of suspense is maintained up until the penultimate page, when the secret was finally revealed. And then the curse of insight – of my double consciousness, came again, and has never left me. I know all their narrow thoughts, their feeble regard, their half-wearied pity. Something that I never knew, as was explained on the dust jacket about this series by Melville House was that: Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nevertheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature’s greatest writers. In the Art of the Novella Series here, 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. I’ll definitely read more of this author’s works.

  2. 4 out of 5

    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) (guess what she thinks about them (view spoiler)[ there is a clue in the title (hide spoiler)] ) both together in one volume purely to get the book up to 110 pages in length, they share nothing in common. This book is one of the penguin Little black classics series, which despite being in and out of bo 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) (guess what she thinks about them (view spoiler)[ there is a clue in the title (hide spoiler)] ) both together in one volume purely to get the book up to 110 pages in length, they share nothing in common. This book is one of the penguin Little black classics series, which despite being in and out of bookshops now and again with the express purpose of looking for books to buy, I have never noticed on sale to the public, the only other book in this series that I've read is Mary Shelley's Matilda which by some curious circumstance is a little similar to The Lifted Veil in that both stories start with an unknown narrator promising to tell us the innocent reader the story of their life because they are approaching death. Both are also one trick stories: Shelley's story is her wondering what would happen if a father and daughter were reunited after many years of separation, and the father is obsessed with his daughter's deceased mother, and the daughter looks very much like her mother...(view spoiler)[ and if you are thinking 'incestuous longing' is what will happen you would not be wrong (hide spoiler)] , here Eliot wonders what would happen if a man had clairvoyant powers of a limited kind (view spoiler)[ if you are thinking, 'well he'd have a lot of fun working as a police investigator, or professional poker player, or in the stock market' then you would be wrong. (hide spoiler)] I suppose inline with Eliot's novels, and she was a-working on The Mill on the Floss while writing this (view spoiler)[ presumably for cash flow reasons (hide spoiler)] this is a study in character and the weak and feeble, ie typically feminine from a mid-Victorian point of view, character of the main figure determines the story (his wife in a bit of gender play is the thrusting and (view spoiler)[ criminally (hide spoiler)] ambitious one, as he is overwhelmed by his visions of the future and apart from once feels unable to change or prevent events from happening. In passing he refers to himself as a ghost seer which struck me as unfamiliar in English but rung a bell - Schiller wrote a story called Der Geisterseher and since there is some play in the story around the writings of the German Romantics I wonder if Eliot's story borrows from, or picks up on a theme from, or develops an idea from the Schiller thriller, which naturally I have not read, but I have my suspicions, dark and sinister suspicions. Some nice turns of phrase particularly on the ability of rich people to afford more complex marital arrangements in those difficult times before modern divorce laws were introduced - Eliot herself, or rather the man in her life was rather inconvenienced by the absence of an equitable divorce law, and so never could be a public figure as a literary heavyweight in Victorian Britain. Silly Novels by Lady Novelists I felt very awkward about this one, it wasn't so much She stoops to Conquer as she stomps to conquer and she stamps for thirty odd pages over much trashy Victorian rubbish appealing to audiences as uncritical and highly segmented as we are familiar with today - ie young Methodist ladies who want to sigh over the love story in which the plain overlooked girl with a good heart gets to marry the young curate who may be ugly, but is unbending on questions of church discipline. I don't disagree with anything she says, but since I am mild mannered there is something uncomfortable about it - like watching a heavy-weight boxing champion go into a school and take on the pupils for five rounds each in the ring, laughing he knocks them down and out as the bell goes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    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 not so much supernatural as pseudo-scientific. It concerns the narrator Latimer who believes himself to have extra sensory powers; the ability to see the future and read the thoughts of others. There’s also a spot of mesmerism and the idea that a blood transfusion on death may temporarily raise some 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 not so much supernatural as pseudo-scientific. It concerns the narrator Latimer who believes himself to have extra sensory powers; the ability to see the future and read the thoughts of others. There’s also a spot of mesmerism and the idea that a blood transfusion on death may temporarily raise someone from the dead (you can always practice this sort of thing on the family servants). The narrator Latimer is certainly and unreliable narrator one feels. His seeming ability to forsee scenes and see thoughts start in his teenage years and is something he keeps quiet. He becomes fascinated by Bertha, his brother’s fiancée. He has a premonition of them marrying and being unhappy (to say more would invite spoilers). Latimer’s brother dies very suddenly, and indeed he marries Bertha. What is consistent with Eliot’s other works is the importance of morality. If we were able to see into the hearts of others we would be horrified. The plot devices allow Eliot to explore a deep cynicism about human nature and it is rather gloomy. Latimer’s gifts are really a curse and there is a strong misanthropic element in his character. I think Eliot is playing with plot devices; Latimer has no choice but to be an omniscient narrator as the author gives him the ability to see the future and the thoughts of others. The title is interesting and the obvious conclusion is that it could be the veil between life and death or the veil between one consciousness and another; but this quote is illuminative as Latimer describes his vision of a Bridge in Prague, a city he has not yet visited; “I could not believe that I had been asleep, for I remembered distinctly the gradual breaking in of the vision upon me, like the new images in a dissolving view, or the growing distinction of the landscape as the sun lifts up the veil of the morning mist.” Latimer had hoped his abilities would be the birth of a poetic sense, he was disappointed and he struggles to cope with his abilities. There is a deep narcissism in Latimer and there is no altruism. It is all about using the gift to find out what others think of him and seeing himself mirrored in others. It doesn’t occur to him to use the gift for the good of others. This may also be Eliot’s reflections on the Victorian Spiritualist phase which she had some interest in. It is also interesting to note that Latimer is described as weak and sickly and he is mostly reactive rather than proactive; Eliot places him in what would have been a traditionally female role in Victorian fiction. All in all it is an oddity, but I enjoyed it and although the tale is rather bleak, I do think Eliot is having a little fun with the institution of marriage. It is worth looking out for and won’t take up much of your time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    César Lasso

    Una novelita o nouvelle que se puede leer de una sentada, y mi primer contacto con la autora victoriana George Eliot. La he leído en traducción española, de la que existen al menos dos versiones con ligera variación en el título. El texto original inglés se puede obtener de forma gratuita, en formato Epub o Kindle, en The Project Gutenberg. La obra se deja leer y, en algún momento, me ha recordado vagamente a una obra maestra posterior en tres décadas: El retrato de Dorian Gray. Quizás, lo que me Una novelita o nouvelle que se puede leer de una sentada, y mi primer contacto con la autora victoriana George Eliot. La he leído en traducción española, de la que existen al menos dos versiones con ligera variación en el título. El texto original inglés se puede obtener de forma gratuita, en formato Epub o Kindle, en The Project Gutenberg. La obra se deja leer y, en algún momento, me ha recordado vagamente a una obra maestra posterior en tres décadas: El retrato de Dorian Gray. Quizás, lo que me sugería la novela de Wilde era el elemento sobrenatural, que en realidad es una excusa para la descripción psicológica de los protagonistas: el antihéroe masculino recibe el “don” traicionero de captar los pensamientos de cuantos lo rodean y de atisbar imágenes del futuro. Sin embargo, se embarca en un empeño de casarse con una mujer misteriosa a sabiendas de que la cosa acabará mal. En eso, hay también una referencia al Fausto de Goethe. Transcribo el pasaje de la versión inglesa que así lo sugiere, procedente del proyecto Gutenberg: It is an old story, that men sell themselves to the tempter, and sign a bond with their blood, because it is only to take effect at a distant day; then rush on to snatch the cup their souls thirst after with an impulse not the less savage because there is a dark shadow beside them for evermore. Lectura entretenida que, sin embargo, me ha dado la impresión de que iba perdiendo fuelle a medida que se aproximaba el final. Le doy tres estrellitas y media.

  5. 4 out of 5

    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 usual work that they delayed printing it until 1878. Premised as it is on psychic phenomena --flashes of telepathy and precognition, which in Eliot's day were just beginning to attract the attention of some intellectuals, and of the public (the titular "veil" is the one that hides the future)-- I wo 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 usual work that they delayed printing it until 1878. Premised as it is on psychic phenomena --flashes of telepathy and precognition, which in Eliot's day were just beginning to attract the attention of some intellectuals, and of the public (the titular "veil" is the one that hides the future)-- I would definitely classify it as science-fiction; but most genre buffs might not recognize it as that, because of the unfamiliar Victorian style and the lack of any attempt to advance an explicitly scientific explanation for the protagonist's abilities. But we're in the realm of "soft" sci-fi here; Eliot wasn't interested in "explaining" her premise, but rather in using it to explore certain thematic concerns. And while they're approached here from a (for her) fresh angle, those concerns turn out to be some of the same ones that are prominent in her better-known, more "respectable" descriptive fiction: the necessity, for human happiness, of healthy human relationships; and the question of whether we're the active architects of our own future or just hapless puppets of fate. (Her protagonist assumes the latter; the author's sympathies are with the former view, but she doesn't spell this out explicitly --the reader has to work to dig it out between the lines.) This is a dark, somber novel, unremittingly serious, concentrating on the inner life of the characters more than on outward events (though the latter are mentioned to illuminate the former). Written in the Romantic style, the emotions it seeks to evoke are fear and sorrow; and many modern readers will find the narrative pace somewhat slow, though the short length (67 pages --the 1985 Penguin edition has a helpful critical Afterward that adds about two dozen pages) partly compensates for this. (IMO, the stylistic influence of Poe can be detected here; and in turn, this work very probably influenced Henry James.) But if modern readers can get past these features, there is rewarding content here.

  6. 4 out of 5

    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 all powerful, affect me so strongly that one or two exhaust all my capability of contemplation. This morning I had been looking at Giorgione’s picture of the cruel-eyed woman, said to be a likeness of Lucrezia Borgia. I had stood long alone before it, fascinated by the terrible reality of that cunnin 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 all powerful, affect me so strongly that one or two exhaust all my capability of contemplation. This morning I had been looking at Giorgione’s picture of the cruel-eyed woman, said to be a likeness of Lucrezia Borgia. I had stood long alone before it, fascinated by the terrible reality of that cunning, relentless face, till I felt a strange poisoned sensation, as if I had long been inhaling a fatal odour, and was just beginning to be conscious of its effects.… I can't find a portrait of Lucrezia Borgia by Giorgione but this one by Bartolomeo Veneto fits the description of the painting the narrator saw in the Lichtenberg Palace, as well as matching perfectly with the strange dream he had after viewing the painting: Intense and hopeless misery was pressing on my soul; the light became stronger, for Bertha was entering with a candle in her hand—Bertha, my wife—with cruel eyes, with green jewels and green leaves on her white ball-dress… Neeless to say, there will be poison mentioned again in this strange story, and further descriptions of hard cold eyes. I'm inclined to think that 'The Lifted Veil' is George Eliot's The Turn of the Screw.

  7. 4 out of 5

    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, and I finally got round to actually reading it. I was surprised to find that it’s a supernatural story, in a way, dealing with clairvoyance — and not just as a societal trend, but one character truly is clairvoyant. I didn’t think Eliot wrote anything speculative like that at all, which is probably my 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, and I finally got round to actually reading it. I was surprised to find that it’s a supernatural story, in a way, dealing with clairvoyance — and not just as a societal trend, but one character truly is clairvoyant. I didn’t think Eliot wrote anything speculative like that at all, which is probably my own ignorance. (My only defence, as a holder of two English degrees, is to protest that this was emphatically not my period at all.) Given that it isn’t my period, I still found this pretty interesting, because it explored the implications for a person who discovered they had such an ability, and because the loveless relationship with his wife — whom he married because he couldn’t see into her mind — had real moments of pathos. It does feel at times like an early Men’s Rights Activist screed when it talks about Bertha: the way she beguiles the narrator: "And she made me believe that she loved me. Without ever 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 ease, unless I was near to her, submitting to her playful tyranny. It costs a woman so little effort to besot us in this way!" Eh. I’m pretty tired of the femme fatales who can do that — trust me, I have never found anyone that easy to wrap around my little finger, even if they thought I was pretty. Give it a rest, men are not at the mercy of their gonads. Anyway, it’s an interesting speculative story, though it’s too short to really bear the weight of much observation — there’s no whys and wherefores to be found as regards the cause of the narrator’s clairvoyance. Originally posted here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    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 been hard, right from the beginning, it's not his fault, and he's going to have an extended moan about it. He philosophises about life, death and fate, it's terribly depressing. However, as the story continued I became more caught up in it, more interested in how it would work out. In the end it was 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 been hard, right from the beginning, it's not his fault, and he's going to have an extended moan about it. He philosophises about life, death and fate, it's terribly depressing. However, as the story continued I became more caught up in it, more interested in how it would work out. In the end it was quite satisfying, but the main character remained unremittingly gloomy, passive and fatalistic. He believes that everything bad in his life is preordained. He thinks that nothing can change it so he does not try. On the whole I felt a combination of tedium, depression, and interest. Im not sorry that I read it, but I'm glad it was short.

  9. 5 out of 5

    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 of your eyes. I also love her writing style. Despite this, I do not feel that novellas really suit her authorship. She is far better, in my opinion, when she is filling a novel and crafting her beautiful words without any kind of restriction upon them. It feels as though her creative spirit has been su 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 of your eyes. I also love her writing style. Despite this, I do not feel that novellas really suit her authorship. She is far better, in my opinion, when she is filling a novel and crafting her beautiful words without any kind of restriction upon them. It feels as though her creative spirit has been suppressed a little in this form, and it is a real shame. The Lifted Veil is rather a quiet novella – a nice enough story, but not a memorable one, unfortunately.

  10. 4 out of 5

    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 The Lifted Veil!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Felipe

    Grande exemplo do formalismo virtuoso que ditava grande parte da produção literária vitoriana, O véu erguido é uma obra "menor" de George Eliot, mas a sua brevidade e assepsia fazem com que ela se torne ainda mais interessante. Aparentemente único momento em que a autora (que trabalhava sob um pseudônimo masculino para ter alguma chance no mercado machista da época) lidou com questões sobrenaturais, acho curioso que até hoje quase não se façam leituras sobre a óbvia veia homoafetiva da narrativa Grande exemplo do formalismo virtuoso que ditava grande parte da produção literária vitoriana, O véu erguido é uma obra "menor" de George Eliot, mas a sua brevidade e assepsia fazem com que ela se torne ainda mais interessante. Aparentemente único momento em que a autora (que trabalhava sob um pseudônimo masculino para ter alguma chance no mercado machista da época) lidou com questões sobrenaturais, acho curioso que até hoje quase não se façam leituras sobre a óbvia veia homoafetiva da narrativa, acompanhando um rapaz de "frágil beleza feminina" que se vê acometido por perturbadores episódios de clarividência. Me parece que Henry James leu muito de George Eliot antes de escrever A Volta do Parafuso e, especialmente, A Fera na Selva. Em ambos os casos é possível encontrar um pesar muito grande pela consciência daquilo que se aproxima, um depósito de esperança/temor pelo futuro, o mais básico e humano receio daquilo que é novo. De qualquer forma sinto que não compreendi nem 10%, queria muito ouvir uma aula sobre.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    To say I am confused would be putting it lightly. Something about this book reminds me of The Great Gatsby, which is definitely a good thing. I love the writing style but I think I completely missed or misunderstood the plot. I have read several blurbs/synopses of the book before and after and not one is like the other. This book confuses me, but it is so beautifully written en brings about a story and a setting in so few words that it still deserved a 3 out of 5.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Flynn

    What a strange novella! I had never heard of it before encountering it in THE MADWOMAN IN THE ATTIC. Stopped reading Madwoman to download and read this in an afternoon. Definitely a little-known side of George Eliot. Now returning to Madwoman.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Oly

    El final me ha estropeado bastante la historia. No entiendo a qué viene ese giro tan raro, con lo interesante que es el 'don' del protagonista.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maan Kawas

    A beautiful novella and a dark fantasy that reflects George Eliot’s interest in the contemporary science in her Victorian age, especially in physiology, mesmerism, and phrenology. It, also, shows Eliot’s attempt to the Victorian horror fiction, which is not similar to her other realistic fiction. However, the novella includes many important points and themes, such as the sympathy and lack of sympathy in human relationships, fear of the inevitable death (the unknown) and acceptance of the difficu A beautiful novella and a dark fantasy that reflects George Eliot’s interest in the contemporary science in her Victorian age, especially in physiology, mesmerism, and phrenology. It, also, shows Eliot’s attempt to the Victorian horror fiction, which is not similar to her other realistic fiction. However, the novella includes many important points and themes, such as the sympathy and lack of sympathy in human relationships, fear of the inevitable death (the unknown) and acceptance of the difficult known, the complex nature of human relationships, sibling jealousy, parent-child relationship, superiority vs. inferiority, intrapersonal communication, fate and predestination, prevision and forestalling, appearance vs. truth, and illusion/delusion vs. reality. It seems also to raise an important question regarding the knowledge of one’s date of death in advance, and the associated circumstances as well as people’s responses to it. That is to say, can human being cope with such a knowledge? What is the impact of such knowledge? I loved the use of the first person narration (life narration), and I loved the questions it raises. Finally, I found the novella attractive from the opening pages.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Curry

    Required reading for EN 345: The British Novel, this book was very short. I had a hard time getting through it because I had to keep pausing at the extensive colon use. Favourite Quotes: "I thirsted for the unknown: the thirst is gone. O God, let me stay with the known, and be weary of it: I am content." "...it is the living only who cannot be forgiven..." "...Bertha was the only being who remained for me in the mysterious seclusion of soul." "That would give me another day's suspense-suspense, the Required reading for EN 345: The British Novel, this book was very short. I had a hard time getting through it because I had to keep pausing at the extensive colon use. Favourite Quotes: "I thirsted for the unknown: the thirst is gone. O God, let me stay with the known, and be weary of it: I am content." "...it is the living only who cannot be forgiven..." "...Bertha was the only being who remained for me in the mysterious seclusion of soul." "That would give me another day's suspense-suspense, the only form in which a fearful spirit knows the solace of hope." "When people are well known to each other, they talk rather of what befalls them externally, leaving their feelings and sentiments to be inferred." "The rich find it easy to live married and apart."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Renee M

    I like Gothic literature and I like George Eliot, but this novella fell flat for me. A true novelty for Eliot but in subject (supernatural) and style (1st person narrative). It's a fun little read for the purpose of seeing a great author exploring for her element, before she found her true calling.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Un bellissimo racconto noir, che fa a meno delle tipiche tinte fosche e delle scene forti . I personaggi della vicenda sono delineati magnificamente attraverso le loro sensazioni e emozioni. In particolare, apprezzo moltissimo Latimer, con la sua sensibilità fuori dal comune e il suo tono disilluso.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christian Paula

    What a strange story. Unreliable narrator, an experiment gone wrong, an exile both necessary and not. In the lead up to reading Middlemarch, I wanted a small sample, but The Lifted Veil may not be it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Neri.

    Honestly, I have no clue why many people love this book because for me this book felt like an 18th century persons fever dream.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    A novella not to be missed. Deliciously disconcerting and gloomy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aleece

    It pains me to give George Eliot two stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John

    A rather dark novella told by Latimer, its central character, coming to the end of his life which has been interesting, if totally lacking in worldly success. The world saw him as a weedy man, frequently ill and possibly mentally unstable. But his light was well hidden under the bushel which he kept with him in his dark corner. The world belonged more to his successful father, Latimer's own wife, Bertha, and his sturdier and successful elder brother of whom he speaks (and of many others?) knowin A rather dark novella told by Latimer, its central character, coming to the end of his life which has been interesting, if totally lacking in worldly success. The world saw him as a weedy man, frequently ill and possibly mentally unstable. But his light was well hidden under the bushel which he kept with him in his dark corner. The world belonged more to his successful father, Latimer's own wife, Bertha, and his sturdier and successful elder brother of whom he speaks (and of many others?) knowingly and bitterly: “ 'Low spirits'!..that is the sort of phrase with which coarse, narrow natures like yours think to describe experience of which you can know no more than your horse does. It is to such as you that the good of the world falls: ready dullness, healthy selfishness, good tempered conceit – these are the keys to happiness”. This little book has a bleakly gothic air about it, an unsettling insight into hearts and minds. Latimer the seer and anti hero did not evoke any warmth or sympathy in me; even less the people around him. An intriguing read and one to revisit I think.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    I'm only giving this 2 stars because the first few pages were great and the writing had its moments. Other than that, I was bored to tears. I decided to clean my kitchen when I only had 2 pages left. I couldn't be bothered. The main character was dull, the premise rushed (but felt so long at 67 pages), and the supernatural could have been much better handled. I'm very disappointed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emma Getz

    This story has all of the Mary Shelley-esque gothic, science fiction vibes I love while at the same time has the Percy Shelley-esque lust for life and view of humanity so basically, George Eliot is my dream author. Also Edward Cullen has nothing on Latimer.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Jones

    This is one of Eliot's early stories, and I suspect she was still finding her voice because it seems less the original work of a mature writer than an imitation of those that had gone before her. The plot is something right out the mind of Poe, and Poe could have done a better job of it by building up the tension with that hysterical style of his. But Eliot's heart just isn't misanthropic enough, and her brain is too sane. In the end she chickens out, veering away from the natural dark terror th This is one of Eliot's early stories, and I suspect she was still finding her voice because it seems less the original work of a mature writer than an imitation of those that had gone before her. The plot is something right out the mind of Poe, and Poe could have done a better job of it by building up the tension with that hysterical style of his. But Eliot's heart just isn't misanthropic enough, and her brain is too sane. In the end she chickens out, veering away from the natural dark terror the story had promised and she goes for the soft landing. In short, it doesn't quite work. Still three stars 'cause Eliot's prose is worth reading, even in a story that lacks oomph.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    A self-pitying clairvoyant whose extrasensory gifts are restricted to picking up the worst, meanest thoughts of those around him (especially his soulless wife) decides to recount his miserable existence once his second sight has made it clear to him that his own diseased death is just around the corner. A Gothic horror tale that has more in common with "Frankenstein" than "Adam Bede," this morose novella suggests a different writerly path for Eliot, one which I for one am glad she did not take.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Louis

    I read this book for a book club, whose meeting I ended up unable to attend. I wish that I had been able to attend because this book certainly invites discussion. The plot involves the narrator, Latimer, who suddenly develops selective foresight of future events, as well as being able to hear the inner thoughts of others. Bertha, the woman he is attracted to, is the one person whose thoughts he cannot read until he marries her. The entire tale is narrated as the author lies dying. It is not the p I read this book for a book club, whose meeting I ended up unable to attend. I wish that I had been able to attend because this book certainly invites discussion. The plot involves the narrator, Latimer, who suddenly develops selective foresight of future events, as well as being able to hear the inner thoughts of others. Bertha, the woman he is attracted to, is the one person whose thoughts he cannot read until he marries her. The entire tale is narrated as the author lies dying. It is not the plot which is interesting but rather the ideas. What would it be like to hear other people's thoughts? How would knowing what is going to happen affect your behavior? SPOILER ALERT (if one is needed for a book written in the 1800's)!!!! The supernatural element of resuscitating the maid after she dies adds a particularly creepy element to the book. I read some criticism of this book through the Literature Resource Center database offered by Phoenix Public Library to cardholders. Apparently this story, or novella, if you prefer, was underrated for a long time until very recently. Now there is much interest in this work among critics of Eliot's writing. I have read one other book by Eliot, "Silas Marner", which I would easily give a five. I can remember that some of my high school's English teachers required students to read this book, and how everyone seemed to hate it. I was prepared for this when I read the book, but it was so wonderful it was startling. Some of the literary criticism which I read stated that "The Lifted Veil" was Eliot's attempt to address philosophical questions which she had. Phrenology was all the rage at this time. So the idea that you could predict people's behavior based on their skull configuration raises issues of free will and of social determinism. The question of pre-intervention in apprehending prospective criminals identified through phrenological means also arises. In this story, Latimer knows how certain events will turn out, and so is presented with the opportunity to intervene but chooses not to do so. While I cannot say that I liked the book, it has stuck in my mind for several days after completing it. I have to think that if you could indeed read people's minds you would go mad from all of the inane babbling going on in everyone's head, oneself included. Plus just the sheer volume of din involved in being in a crowd of people whose thoughts you could not filter would be horrible to endure. The narrator is not particularly an appealing character. He often seems self-obsessed, whiny, and subject to a victim mentality. Admittedly he has problems, but his foresight doesn't prevent him from marrying Bertha, even though he has seen that they will hate each other. So perhaps weak-willed is a more apt modifier for the narrator. But as I stated earlier, the book's ideas have continued to cross my mind. All in all, I would say that this is worth a read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    belva hullp

    (4 1/2*); (a reread) I did not find this to be a lovely book, but I do find that my opinion of this book remains drastically different from most L.T. readers of the book. I thought The Lifted Veil to be quite brilliant. As I read, I felt myself looking into the man's mind and found myself to be momentarily taking on his mental persona as well. I was not bored. I was not piqued. I was not grossed out. The book did not depress me nor did it make me nervous or anxious. I was nothing but a person with (4 1/2*); (a reread) I did not find this to be a lovely book, but I do find that my opinion of this book remains drastically different from most L.T. readers of the book. I thought The Lifted Veil to be quite brilliant. As I read, I felt myself looking into the man's mind and found myself to be momentarily taking on his mental persona as well. I was not bored. I was not piqued. I was not grossed out. The book did not depress me nor did it make me nervous or anxious. I was nothing but a person within another person's ill mind. There was very little within the book that was literal and not simply in his mind. Yes, I thought it very different and as I said rather brilliant; much as I found Dracula when I read it. Sorry ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I shall, most likely, be the only one here with this opinion. But then too, I am probably the only one here who has been on a psyche ward for depression, anxiety and panic attack as well. I cannot say if that colored my reading of this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cáitín Ní Loingeacháin

    Death is something that Victorian people were obsessed about. When this short story was written the Victorian people were in crisis about their faith after discoveries were made to contradict everything they believed. The story is very dark melodramatic and suited this time frame. Narrator foretells his own death, and his journey through life up to that point.

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