Scenes of Clerical Life

Scenes of Clerical Life

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Scenes of Clerical Life is the title under which George Eliot's first published work of fiction, a collection of three short stories, was released in book form; it was the first of her works to be released under her famous pseudonym.The stories take place in and around the fictional town of Milby in the English Midlands. When Scenes of Clerical Life was published anonymously in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine in 1857, it was immediately recognized, as 'the production of a peculiar and remarkable writer'. The first readers, including Dickens and Thackeray, were struck by its humorous irony, the truthfulness of its presentation of the lives of ordinary men and women, and its compassionate acceptance of human weakness. The three stories that make up the Scenes, 'The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton', 'Mr Gilfil's Love Story', and 'Janet's Repentance', foreshadow George Eliot's major work, and their success gave her the confidence to become one of the greatest English novelists.
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