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BloomThe Botanical Vernacular in the English Novel$
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Amy M. King

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161519.001.0001

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Eliot's Vernaculars

Eliot's Vernaculars

Natural Objects and Revisionary Blooms

(p.132) FOUR Eliot's Vernaculars

Amy M. King

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the way George Eliot's novels extend the courtship plot to nonmarital sexuality, or what Linnaeus called “clandestine marriage.” It explores how 19th-century natural history and its classificatory energies are employed by Eliot to not only represent versions of courtship anticipated by Linnaeus (yet neglected by novelists) but also to achieve, more broadly, a new kind of realism in which the representation of the social world is achieved through organizing principles derived from natural history.

Keywords:   George Eliot, sexuality, clandestine marriage, Linnaeus, courtship, natural history

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