Daniel Deronda, George Eliot’s final novel, published in 1876, has always been thought unfilmable. Its predecessors, Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss and Adam Bede, have made it-several times, in some cases-onto the small screen, but Deronda resisted. Periodically someone had another go at writing a script, but it never came to much. Daniel Deronda remained too complex, too sprawling and, above all, too boring to be tucked into a snappy narrative that would keep Sunday evening audiences tuning in.
Half of the book, the part that concerns the passage of beautiful, wilful Gwendolen Harleth-perhaps the finest character that Eliot…
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