George Eliot’s Romola, 1880

RomolaThis enormous two-volume edition of Romola is a limited edition released in 1880, the year of the author’s death. Romola is the only one of Eliot’s novels not set in nineteenth century England. Instead it is set in fifteenth century Florence and features historical as well as fictional characters. While it is not the most well-known of her books and certainly not in the same league as Middlemarch (which is pretty close to perfect), Romola is an interesting exploration of a time of philosophical and social turbulence in which traditional ideas were being challenged.

This edition is not just special because only a thousand were printed (ours is number 445) but because it is filled with stunning illustrations by Frederick Leighton. It’s not great for commuting with but it is worth having.Romola2

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