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The Mill on the Floss (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – May 28, 1998

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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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192833642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192833648
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.3 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Powerful and moving, "The Mill on the Floss" is considered to be George Eliot's most autobiographical novel. Along with "Middlemarch" it is my favorite. Set in early 19th century England - St. Ogg's, Lincolnshire to be exact - this is the tale of gifted, free-spirited Maggie Tulliver and her selfish, spoiled brother, Tom, who were born and raised at Dorlcote Mill on the River Floss. Eliot's portrayal of sibling relationships is terribly poignant and plays a major part in the novel, as does the longstanding rivalry between two local families - the Tullivers and the Wakems.

From earliest childhood Maggie worships her brother Tom, and longs to win his approval, and that of her parents. However, her fierce intelligence and strong streak of independence bring her into constant conflict with her family. She finds, in literature, the kindness and love she longs for in life. "...everybody in the world seemed so hard and unkind to Maggie: there was no indulgence, no fondness, such as she imagined when she fashioned the world afresh in her own thoughts. In books there were people who were always agreeable or tender, and delighted to do things that made one happy, and who did not show their kindness by finding fault. The world outside the books was not a happy one Maggie felt. If life had no love in it, what else was there for Maggie?" Her nature, complex, passionate, sensuous, noble, intellectualized, and spiritualized, is of great importance to this novel, as is the pathos of her relationship with Tom.

Maggie's early years are brilliantly and unsentimentally portrayed from a child's perspective.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas S. Ludlum on May 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot, stands among the greatest nineteenth century British novels. As engaging and readable as anything by Austen or Dickens, this novel adds a degree of psychological and emotional complexity that few novels, of any period, can match.
The novel seems to have the breath of life in it, so that the characters and circumstances seem true and real, even to the modern reader so far removed from the pastoral life of two hundred years ago.
To those who may feel intimidated by the book, don't be. The writing is accessible to any 21st century literate and the controversies of Victorian-era farm life are far more compelling than they may appear at first blush. Give it a try; you won't be disappointed.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on January 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
George Eliot's works are varied and wonderful, and although this is not the book that she's most noted for, it is one that she held most dear. It is a "no-holds barred" autobiographical account of her own life. George Eliot's real name was Mary Anne Evans, but she used the pen name of George Eliot because society at that time thought it was not correct for women to be authors, and she wanted her books read on their own merits. In this book we read of Maggie Tulliver who was intelligent, imaginative, idealistic and ambitious like George (Mary Anne) herself. The book goes into the continuous conflict between Maggie and her environment, and the frustrations that she encounters in her search for fulfillment and love. George Eliot bared her soul in this novel, but it also contains her trademark wonderful dialogue and characterizations. I have read all George Eliot's works, and found them all richly and disturbingly illuminating. They certainly do make you think about her and the struggles that she encountered within the moral and religious strictures of her society.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By lazza on January 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first (of four, so far) George Eliot novel. It's also my favorite. Unlike Adam Bede or Silas Marner, I found the characters to be interesting and enjoyable. No, it's not a finely-crafted piece of literature like Middlemarch. And it might be a bit on the melodramatic side. But for some odd reason I found the story to be ultimately quite moving.
Other folks who I gave the book to gave it mixed results. No one disliked it, but most found the "brother-sister" element to be a bit corny. And pardon my sexism, but I thought the book would appeal more to women than men (since the main character is a teenage girl). Not so. This book is definitely "not for women only".
I imagine if you have a sentimental streak through your bones you will probably love this book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on September 21, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
From a technical point of view, I think that the writing is superb: the description are vivid (I particularly loved the description of Maggie as a little Medusa with her snakes shorn.) The book is a mixture of the earnest and the farcical, and at points is extremely funny. The structure is carefully built, with the different metaphors of the river reflecting the state of mind of the characters. I found the end very unsatisfying, I was close to the end of the book before I found Maggie sympathetic, and I thought it failed the chief standard of a novel: to be an involving narrative.

I don't mind that the author speaks to the reader per se, but every time I got caught up in the narrative, it wasn't long before the story ground to a halt while Eliot delivered herself of a short essay. The nearly three pages asking the reader to think of villages on the Rhone and castles on the Rhine (neither of which I have ever seen), wore out my patience--it almost seemed like a joke. Both the critics that I read thought that modern readers were put off by the length of the book, but I can think of a lot of long modern novels. It's not so much the number of pages as the way they are filled.

Maggie Tulliver is apparently a seriously disturbed child, surrounded by insensitive adults who certainly can't help her. I feel sorry for her, but I don't like her. Wanting to be loved isn't the same as being lovable. For most of the book, Maggie is pretty self-absorbed. I pity her for her unpleasant relatives, but that doesn't mean that I find her sympathetic by contrast.

Maggie is destructively impulsive, probably hurting herself more than anyone else, but Eliot lost a great deal of my sympathy early on when Maggie allows her brother's rabbits to die of neglect.
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