Philip Fisher is Felice Crowl Reid Professor of English and American Literature at Harvard University.
Fisher places the work of George Eliot within the great evolution that constitutes the nineteenth-century English novel. He reports not only about her work, but about an evolving complex literary form. Fisher examines EliotÆs work as responding to “the loss of society,” the breakdown between public life and individua moral history. As trust in the community as a base of moral life weakens, decisive changes occur: the English novel accommodated itself to the disappearance of society and changed from the representation of individuals as members of a social order to the description of the self surrounded by collections of unrelated others.