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The Big ReadMiddlemarch

George Eliot

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Wordsworth Editions Ltd

Published : 1993, 1874

Copyright : Wordsworth Editions Ltd 1993

ISBN-10 : PB 1-85326-237-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-85326-237-1

Publisher's Write-Up


George Eliot's most ambitious novel is a masterly evocation of diverse lives and changing fortunes in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfillment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career; and the religious hypocrite Bulstrode, hiding scandalous crimes from his past. As their stories interweave, George Eliot creates a richly nuanced and moving drama, hailed by Virginia Woolf as 'one of the few English novels written for adult people'.

This title includes introduction and notes by Doreen Roberts, Rutherford College, University of Kent at Canterbury. Middlemarch is a complex tale of idealism, disillusion, profligacy, loyalty and frustrated love.

This penetrating analysis of the life of an English provincial town during the time of social unrest prior to the Reform Bill of 1832 is told through the lives of Dorothea Brooke and Dr Tertius Lydgate and includes a host of other paradigm characters who illuminate the condition of English life in the mid-nineteenth century.

About the Author:
Mary Ann Evans (1819-80) began her literary career as a translator and later editor of the Westminster Review. In 1857, she published Scenes of Clerical Life, the first of eight novels she would publish under the name of 'George Eliot', including The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Shannon (090111) Rating (9/10)

Review by Shannon
Rating 9/10
"People are almost always better than their neighbours think." States Dorthea, one of the starring characters in Middlemarch. The relationships of neighbours in and around the small town of Middlemarch take centre stage in this novel about romance, mistakes, and most of all the vitality of the human spirit.

From Dorthea Brooke, who shocks her family when she chooses to marry an elderly scholar in the place of a young baronet, to Rosamond Vincy, a spendthrift who marries a poor doctor, this book is filled with stories of a drama filled neighbourhood.

Whether the earlier quote from Dorthea rings true is debatable. She herself possesses an almost spotless reputation among the population of the town, that is until she falls in love with her husband’s cousin Will Ladislaw. Rumours start to fly about her relations with young Ladislaw before, and then after the death of Casaubon, her husband. The Casaubon’s marriage had begun to fall apart almost as soon as it started. Instead of finding the loving and willing teacher and husband that she expected, Dorthea feels alone in her new life, and unknowingly seeks comfort with Will.

Meanwhile, in the town of Middlemarch, love is blooming between the mayor’s beautiful daughter, Rosamond Vincy and a new doctor, Lydegate. Lydegate had previously promised himself that he would hold off on marriage until his practice was established, yet just months into his residency in the town, he finds himself engaged to the young socialite. Disaster strikes when the new couple find that they have spent more than they could possibly afford, and have no hope of receiving financial help from either of their families.

These are just the beginning of the challenges and scandals faced by the cast of this novel. Characters also experience blackmail, a love triangle or two, and last but definitely not lease, the murder of an unwanted visitor.

George Eliot weaves an amazing tale in Middlemarch, it will have you laughing, crying, and practically dying of anticipation, sometimes all at the same time. Middlemarch is an amazing read, not just for fans of classic literature, but for everyone, as it allows you to dive deep into the world of England in the 19th century, and actually live the lives of the intricate characters.
Shannon (9th January 2011)

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