Staff Book Review

 

   I thought for August it might be fun to air my opinion on what is considered great literature.  George Eliot is one of the giants of Victorian Literature.  Her novels are as giant as her reputation, and in my opinion as  dull and ponderous with a few exceptions.  The novel, Romola, is a delight.  It takes place in Renaissance Florence at a time when Intellectual and artistic ability were open to many, and Social standing and Political power were fluid.  This is the world in which we are introduced to the charming character of Tito Melema.  He begins from nothing.  He marries the most perfect woman in Florence, beautiful, kind and boring.  He has political ambitions. He is always at the right plays at the right time.  He always knows the right thing to say.  He excels at oratory.  He is modest when it serves his purpose, and likewise he is kind and handsome.  One cannot read his conversations and his perspectives on the world and not be fond of him despite his flaws.  Even when you discover he has a secret peasant wife with beautiful children whom he adores, the reader still loves him.  There are a lot of characters, and a lot happens, as in any book by George Eliot.  Much of it is interesting, but for me, one of the most fascinating and appealing characters of all times in the cannon of great literature is without a doubt Tito Melema.  Because of him, you’ll wish a very long book was longer.

-Tom

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