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.
Philip Fisher places the work of George Eliot securely within the great evolution which constitutes the nineteenth-century English novel. Fisher examines Eliot's work as responding to 'the loss of society,' the breakdown between public life and individual moral history.
[Fisher] concludes that Eliot's novels are an attempt to find a new expression for both individual and society. . . . important to many students of the novel.