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Margot Waddell read classics and English literature at Cambridge University, where she also received a Ph.D. in English, with a dissertation on George Eliot. She trained as a child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, London, and is now a consultant child psychotherapist in the Adolescent Department. She is an associate member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, where she also trained, and she works in private practice. She is the author of several books, most recently Inside Lives: Psychoanalysis and the Growth of Personality (1998), and of essays on George Eliot. She has been concerned, both in George Eliot's fiction and in psychoanalysis, with the problems in trying to develop a sense of the good that is informed by the ideal without being confused with it.