St Mary's Church, Ross on Wye, is set to play host to an evening of literature and philosophy with acclaimed author Clare Carlisle on Wednesday, May 31 at 7pm. The professor of Philosophy at King's College London will delve into the intriguing double life of George Eliot, offering fresh insights into how marriage influenced the celebrated author's life and work.
In her new biography, 'The Marriage Question', Carlisle reveals Eliot as not only a literary genius but also a brilliant philosopher. She examines how the 1850s scandal surrounding Eliot's unconventional choice to live with G. H. Lewes, a married man, shaped her views on marriage as a site of human fulfilment. However, Eliot's fiction often depicted marriages fraught with unhappiness, disappointment, and abuse, presenting a dichotomy that Carlisle promises to explore in depth.
Carlisle's book explores the transformation of Marian Evans into the pen-named George Eliot, a transformation that occurred in tandem with her finding a life partner in Lewes, a philosopher, writer, and married father of three. Despite the societal uproar caused by their 24-year relationship, Eliot experienced a blossoming of her personal and professional life, leading her to refer to their union as a 'double life' that enhanced her ability to feel and think.
Within the pages of 'The Marriage Question', readers are invited to consider Eliot's exploration of desire and sacrifice, motherhood and creativity, trust and disillusionment, destiny, and chance. Carlisle's biography encourages readers to join Eliot in her struggle to reconcile thought and feeling in the context of marriage.
Carlisle is an established author with seven books to her name, including 'Spinoza's Religion', 'Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard', and 'On Habit'. She also edited George Eliot's translation of Spinoza's 'Ethics'. Raised in Manchester and educated at Cambridge, Carlisle has developed a reputation for her thought-provoking philosophical writings.
The event is being held in support of The Friends of St Mary's Ross on Wye, and tickets cost £8, available from Rossiter Books in store or via Ticketsource. Attendees will have the opportunity to redeem £3 of the ticket price against the purchase of 'The Marriage Question' at the event.