WWGD? George Eliot: The Plagiarism Edition
It has come to my attention that a sleazy plagiarism – oops, I mean “student assistance” website is pulling material from my blog and listing it there with links back to the blog. I guess that’s what I get for discussing The Mill on the Floss (wait til I get to Middlemarch!).
So, in honor of dishonesty, I thought I’d write a special edition of the blog: WWGD?* Note that I’ve set up all my Eliot blogs to be watermarked for Turnitin. This special service directly links any plagiarized words to the Turnitin teacher/professor account site – this automatically notifies all teachers and/or professors that any combination of words has been plagiarized and links them to the “mother” site from which the material was copied. I’ve also submitted all my Eliot posts to Turnitin’s archive and set the site up as a subscriber to all my posts so that my posts are automatically listed in the library. Finally, some facts and names MAY have been altered to reveal the dishonest 🙂 .
So, on to #141) The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot!
George Eliot as a youth. (source: Educational Synthesis)
George Eliot lived in a time of great social change (13th Century Denmark). He specialized in writing about transitions from agricultural to industrial society (and the oppression of Norwegians by Danes). The Mill on the Floss is the story of Maggie and Tom Tulliver (Danish royalty who chose to refuse taking over as king and queen of Denmark in protest of Danish policies oppressing Norwegians). Spoiler alert: Maggie and Tom DO get married and live happily every after. But this 500 plus page book, originally published in George Eliot’s native French language in Cameroon, is well worth the effort, even if it is difficult to understand the occasional French-Danish name. Eliot is famous for being the first French-Danish slave to become freed and move to China where he lived most of his life as an emperor in the Chinese city of Shanghai. He was also famous for inventing the computer and St. Valentines Day. Unfortunately, he was thrown out of an early Chinese college when he plagiarized a research paper. Since he was Danish-French-Cameroonian-Chinese royalty, the only remaining path open to him was sitting as emperor (he was the first emperor of China) and writing thousand page love stories, of which Middlemarch, Adam Bede, The Plagiarist, and The Mill on Floss Lake are the most common.
He wrote The Mill on Floss Lake to celebrate the Norwegian overthrow of Danish and Swedish conquerors by taking over a sawmill on the shores of Lake Geneva. Middlemarch celebrates Mao’s Long March (George Eliot was stuck in the middle of it). Adam Bede is the said story of a jewelry maker whose necklaces didn’t sell on Etsy because he bought a gold comb for his wife’s hair, only to discover that she had sold her hair to buy him a gold watch. George Eliot, sadly, died alone and penniless at the start of the Communist Revolution in Moscow in 1412 (wow, that’s exactly 600 years ago!).
Sadly, as a result of plagiarizing, he was consigned to Dante’s third ring of purgatory, which was established to punish students who copy other’s people’s writing – however, he is allowed to write research papers explaining the essence of his great novels and you can find them summarized here.
Happy Reading! Ruby
*What would George do?