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Middlemarch (Penguin Classics) Paperback – March 25, 2003
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
"The most profound, wise and absorbing of English novels...and, above all, truthful and forgiving about human behavior." -- Hermione Lee
Top Customer Reviews
Dorothea Brooke is a young woman about to take a much older husband, determined to find purpose in her life by assisting him with his life's work, a book which is to a definitive guide to all the mythologies of the world. When she begins to suspect her husband's work is little more than empty piffle, how will she find her way?
Mr. Lydgate is a hotshot young physician determined to do great works from the small town of Middlemarch. Thwarted by small town suspicion and politics, and increasingly saddled by debt incurred by a pretty young wife, how will he cope as his life's dream slips away?
Fred Vincy is the son of a town merchant determined to see him made a gentleman. He's paid for Fred to recieve a gentleman's education at Oxford with the intention that Fred will join the Church. Fred knows the Church isn't for him, but isn't sure what else to do, nor how to tell his father his education was for naught.
These are just three of a huge cast of characters, all of them fascinating in their own way as their lives intersect. The book feels more like a documentary than a novel, and you grow to feel as if the characters could be your own friends and neighbors. Highly recommended, I know this is going to be one of my favorite books.
George Eliot has been the bane of students everywhere who suffer reading Silas Marner in high school. But later on, you, like me, may develop a taste for the classics and this book will reward you richly.
The story is about Dorothea, a young, idealist woman, born to a good family with a modest fortune of her own. She is a prime catch on the wife market--money, family name, good looks. Her parents are deceased and her friends and uncle seek to pair her up with a local baron as the ideal mate. But Dorothea, bookish, religious and dreamy, has other ideas. She chooses, instead, a superannuated cleric who finally decides to marry as he feels mortality and ill health upon him. Casaubon, the vicar of a nearby rural church is a good match except....he's old, ugly and what the heck is he doing marrying such a young beauty. But Dorothea, who's imagining a sort of superior father figure who could "teach you even Hebrew, if you wished it" wakes up to far less than a reality of marital bliss. And there's an added complication created by her unworthy husband that has dire consequences for the young Dorothea.
The subsequent examination of marriage as a partnership in hell is written with stunning modernity. Eliot not only creates the disastrous marriage of Dorothea to Casaubon, but also pairs, as a comparison, Lydgate, a doctor and his frivolous, vain, uncaring wife.Read more ›
But when I finally picked it up out of a sense of obligation (after all, I majored in English, and it is a highly acclaimed classic) I was amazed to find myself laughing out loud on the very first page!
Dorothea, Eliot's heroine, is SO very earnest, SO idealistic and ardent! She would never be so tawdry as to fuss with her hair and dress, or wear (gasp!) jewelry in public! She is interested only in bettering the lives of the poor in their neighborhood (you could visualize her at the fore of a modern anti-war protest). But when her sister draws her into trying on their mother's old jewelry, the pure beauty of an emerald ring inspires her to decisively choose it as her own. And she stubbbornly ignores any inconsistency between that decision and her ideals.
But her idealism traps her into marriage with a man who is not at all what she believes. She sees him as a paragon of learning, questing the seas of knowledge with fearless curiousity. In actuality, he turns out to be a cautious and small-minded scholar, drily obsessed with minor points of criticism on others works. Poor Dorothea strives to find ways to hold constant in her love in the face of ugly truth. And when she meets young Will Ladislaw, a man of similar idealism and energy, she fights to stay on her moral high ground. Thank goodness the dry old scholar dies! But even after death, he manages to poison the possibility of Dorothea and Will ever making a life together.
Around this couple swarm their relatives and acquaintances, and others quests for their best lives.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very ambitious and tightly packed novel with so many interesting characters and plot lines it is difficult to determine which was intended as the main plot. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Alethea Hammer
I read The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot when I was about 17 years old. I remember the experience because I almost literally could not put the book down. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Helen L. Worcester
It started a bit slowly for me and at first I had trouble with the characters, but I soon realized it was because I was unused to characters this fully drawn and deeply realized. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Frank A. Chadwick
What a wonderful, timeless story, richly loaded with life lessons. George Eliot is the best! E-reader is a marvelous way to read a book that is loaded with dozens of characters and... Read morePublished 16 days ago by S. Meehan
I love to get lost in a historical fiction book. This book filled the bill but wasn't a book that couldn't be put down.Published 1 month ago by Happy hunting shopper
The book was far too long, over 800 pages. It was well written and interesting, but could have been shortened. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary A. Seng