I love British Lit. I realized it too late in life to have been an English major in college, but I've been enjoying all sorts of British authors all on my own. Several years ago I read a magazine article lamenting the state of higher education and citing, by way of example, English majors who don't read George Eliot. Well, I loved Silas Marner. I checked first, to be sure Eliot hadn't written too many novels and there seemed to be only seven. Then I made myself a goal: I would read all of George Eliot's novels. Are you already smiling to yourself, a knowing smile? Silas Marner is a succinct, short, little book. I hit Middlemarch and wondered what I had done, but slogged through those eight hundred pages.
My mom likes to point out to me that I have a stubborn streak. Show me something not being done and I'd love to prove I can do it. She also likes to mention I deserve a little guy like Arden who is so ardent he suits his name just perfectly.
Today, preparing for our trip, I had Bryan bring Adam Bede home from the library. I'll see how far through it I can get over Christmas vacation. At this point I know I have nothing to brag about. My goal has been downgraded to a lifetime goal. I can't count watching BBC's Daniel Deronda as part of that achievement. At seventy perhaps I'll finish my last Eliot novel. Bryan and I will be the only people who ever know, nevertheless, I'll have finished and spent 40 years proving I could do it.