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Adam Bede (Penguin Classics) Paperback – June 26, 1980


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (June 26, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140431217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140431216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,666,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Novel written by George Eliot, published in three volumes in 1859. The title character, a carpenter, is in love with a woman who bears a child by another man. Although Bede tries to help her, he eventually loses her but finds happiness with Dinah Morris, a Methodist preacher. Adam Bede was Eliot's first long novel. Its masterly realism--evident, for example, in the recording of Derbyshire dialect--brought to English fiction the same truthful observation of minute detail that John Ruskin was commending in the Pre-Raphaelites. But what was new in this work of English fiction was the combination of deep human sympathy and rigorous moral judgment. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

From the Publisher

Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Born Mary Ann Evans, Victorian novelist George Eliot (1819-1880) is the author of a number of remarkable works, including the masterpiece Middlemarch.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a good read although it can be slow at times.
"reviewforyou"
As far as the novel, this was the first real novel written by Mary Ann Evans, as "George Eliot."
Misanthrope™
She makes me feel as though I am experiencing the emotions of her characters.
Jill Whitman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A.J. on July 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
Adam Bede, the titular hero of George Eliot's first novel, is of a character so sterling that one little anecdote serves to define his whole life and work ethic: He's a carpenter, and he had done some work for a lady whose father, an old squire named Donnithorne, suggested that she pay him less than the fee he requested. Adam insisted that he would rather take no money for the job, for to accept a reduced amount would be like admitting he overcharges for shoddy work. By standing on his principles, he won his full fee in the end and cemented his reputation as a businessman of honor and acumen, proving his fairness to both his customers and himself.
Thus he seems an unlikely match for Hetty Sorrel, the prettiest girl in the village of Hayslope. Vain, selfish, materialistic, hating her laborious farm chores, Hetty bears more than a passing resemblance to Flaubert's Madame Bovary. However, while Madame Bovary's unattainable dream world is inspired by her reading romances, Hetty "had never read a novel" so she can't "find a shape for her expectations" regarding love. Unable to foresee any possible consequences for her actions, she allows herself to be seduced by Arthur Donnithorne, the old squire's grandson, who stands to inherit the land on which most of the Hayslopers live.
Arthur is a radiant example of Eliot's mastery in complicated character creation. Acutely aware of his position in society, he has the kind of charisma with which he can talk to his tenants politely but with just the slightest hint of condescension and completely win their respect for his authority.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Marinelli on November 14, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
Adam Bede is more volatile than Middlemarch, but also more powerful. It centers around the life of a master carpenter, Adam Bede, and the people in his village above and equal to his caste, and his conflicted love for a young woman who has also caught the attention of the young aristocrat who is the nominal authority within the community, with tragic consequences. It is not only worth the download, but equally deserves your focus and attention.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jill Whitman on September 22, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I started reading George Elliot's works after initially reading "The Mill on the Floss". There are few writers that I enjoy reading as much. She makes me feel as though I am experiencing the emotions of her characters. I am swept away and have trouble putting her books down. I love the themes she chooses to write about. Her characters are believable and the works are always filled with choices and consequences of everyday people. She does a phenomenal job of weaving the web of the interactions of the characters and demonstrating how each person's actions have affected the others.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By anna-joelle on September 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Highly recommended for those who loves classic literature. George Elliot beautifully captured the lives of the people in rural English country in the late 18th century and early 19th century. I guarantee you'll fall in love with all the 4 main characters ie. Adam Bede, Hetty Sorrel, Lord Arthur and Dinah Morris before you finish the book. The courting scenes involving Adam Bede and Dinah are both very romantic and honest. George Elliot had a great understanding of human nature which makes the story very believable although it's fiction. ADAM BEDE's a hero in my heart, and this book's a must read for all literature fans.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
George Eliot weaves a simple story of love, suffering, and goodness. While the plot is hardly complex (boy loves girl, another boy gets girl, unhappiness abounds - also reused in Mill on the Floss), the manner in which Eliot develops her characters and their emotions and actions ring as true and resoundingly as a bell. It's so clear, so obvious, but also moving and textured. You feel Adam's absolute love for vain little Hetty, Dinah's calming grace, Arthur's good intentions, Lisbeth's fretting nature. Eliot draws you in with her honest observations of life in a country town, without the background becoming a dominant factor. The near idyllic life the characters lead is a healthy contrast to the town's emotional upheaval.
Adam is an upright, genuine character, and not as perfect as he seems. If his love for Hetty seems unfounded at times, it only serves to highlight how dangerous delusions can be. All the "sinners" are ultimately redeemed by truth - true love, true friends, true promises, and true acceptance. Religion plays a significant part in the novel, but don't let that deter you. It's so much more than that - Adam Bede is truly one of the few works that encompass a world of humanity between two covers.
AB reminded me of Tess of the D'Ubervilles a bit, but there is no villain here, just flawed, honest people in search of unattainable dreams. In the process of trying to get a bit of happiness, they stumble and bleed, but ultimately find something truly worth having. Bittersweetness is Eliot's trademark for good reason.
George Eliot's first full novel is obviously a bit less polished than her later works, but you see the wonderful command she has over language and expression. The book, the people, the story all come alive with her touch. A rare read that has something to say and says it beautifully.
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