I know no speck so troublesome as self: Finding Middlemarch through Corpus Linguistics

Dr Rosalind White proposes a way into George Eliot’s Middlemarch using corpus linguistics.

Campus - Aston Webb

In this blog post, I’d like to explore how corpus linguistic tools can be used to illuminate the semantic texture of George Eliot’s writing. I make use of the CLiC Web App (Mahlberg et al. 2020). From the outset, George Eliot frames Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (1871) as a pseudo-scientific sample of the complex human dynamics that can be found in a provincial town. Using the metaphor of an optical microscope, the narrator vows to concentrate ‘all the light [they] can command’ on ‘unravelling certain human lots and seeing how they [are] woven and interwoven’ (102). Read more...