Monday, December 17, 2018


I don't want to say this book is a slog but the working draft was Middleblast. *Ba-dum-tis* Actually the middle is exactly where it really starts to pick up but with such a mega book it's hard to get there. The debate about which chaplain to get for the new hospital about killed me. Admittedly, it was a realistic depiction of the boring + passive-aggressive comments of being on a non-profit board.

Even though I enjoy classics I cannot recommend this for a casual reader. I mean, it's no Moonstone. While the second half gets a little crazy, George Elliot's life was way weirder. She was like an original bohemian, an atheist, and lived with a man for years without getting married.  After her first "husband" died, she got married to a younger man, who was likely gay, and he jumped out of his window on his wedding night.  I like to think he did a Wilhelm scream. The husband lived, but that breakfast must have been awkward. 

Looks, education and class are an important part of this book as they would be for women in provincial England. George Eliot and her "husband" George Lewes were notoriously unattractive. Photographs exist and...well... they weren't wrong.  She still became rich and famous. Hey, Elon Musk's face is bizarre and he's doing fine. In fact, if you're not rich and famous it could be because you are just too good-looking. Yeah.

This book as British as it gets and Christmas is coming. Wassail Recipe: This makes enough for a crowd: 6 apples, cored, 2&1/2 tbsp. light brown sugar, 15 allspice berries, 15 cloves, 6 sticks cinnamon, 1 cup Madeira, 1 cup unsweetened cider, 2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tbsp. ground ginger, 1 cans of ale, 1 750ml bottle dry hard cider, and the peel of two oranges.  Bake the apples with brown sugar in a water bath in a 350 degree oven for an hour.  I the meantime, toast the spices in a large saucepan for a minute or two, add the rest of the ingredients, boil and let simmer for one hour.  Add the apples and cook for ten more minutes. 

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