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Middlemarch by George Eliot

Middlemarch (1872)

by George Eliot

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,139238283 (4.2)14 / 1604
  1. 111
    Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (christiguc, HollyMS)
  2. 113
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (shallihavemydwarf)
  3. 60
    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (Booksloth)
  4. 41
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (PensiveCat)
  5. 20
    My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: One reader's relationship with this novel; also some biography of Eliot and a literary criticism.
  6. 20
    South Riding: An English Landscape by Winifred Holtby (Booksloth)
  7. 20
    The Victorian House : domestic life from childbirth to deathbed by Judith Flanders (susanbooks)
  8. 10
    The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson (thesmellofbooks)
    thesmellofbooks: The Getting of Wisdom is the rare sort of book that provokes deep self-reflection and a nudge in the direction of peace-making with self and life, and in this way brings to mind [[George Eliot]]'s [Middlemarch]. I am gobsmacked. The novel begins as an entertaining tale of a headstrong young Australian girl going to meet the world at boarding school. It gradually evolves into a subtle, simple, and stunningly real observation of the pressures of conformity and the intolerance of naïveté, which, when paired with a strong desire to be accepted, can lead to many and often rending responses in an imaginative young person. Yet it is not a tragedy. I am left moved, affectionate, a little worried about the future, and yet joyful at the intactness of the protagonist's resilient soul. Bravo, Ms Richardson.… (more)
  9. 10
    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (amanda4242)
  10. 00
    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These 19th-century classics portray complex romantic relationships with vivid descriptions and a strong sense of place. With intricate, twisting plots, both offer their protagonists bleak outlooks that end in satisfying resolutions.
  11. 00
    Deerbrook by Harriet Martineau (souloftherose)
  12. 01
    George Eliot. by Elsemarie Maletzke (JuliaMaria)
  13. 14
    Ulysses by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
    kara.shamy: Similar -- almost unique really -- in their tremendous breadth and depth...
My TBR (6)

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English (230)  Spanish (4)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Latvian (1)  All languages (238)
Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
This novel is perfection. ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
I only read the first half, plus the great intro by Felicia Bonaparte.

I enjoyed the writing, but grew tired of the Victorian atmosphere-wasn't reading it for the history lesson! ( )
  keithostertag | Jan 8, 2019 |
Tales of people, how other's expectations don't match the reality. ( )
  nx74defiant | Dec 30, 2018 |
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

It was not a good idea to read this book alongside The red and the black, that cold research lab where only the main character is real and all the others are plot devices to trigger psychological and/or political observations. It made Stendhal’s books look so much worse, and Eliot’s book so much superior. But Middlemarch isn’t just great in comparison, it’s great, full stop.

Eliot's quiet snarkiness worked its magic on me from the first few pages, where there are plenty of leisurely descriptions of country life that she then undercuts with a precisely timed placing of a tongue in her cheek. Expertly done, and it works on two levels -- "let me tell you how these people think things work", and "I'll make a joke so you and I both know that things are actually more complex than that; but we still understand why these people think so". Good stuff.

Most of this book centres around the travails of four couples and their immediate families (or lack thereof). That means there’s a fairly large cast to keep track of, but that is exactly where this book’s strength lies: their interactions and conflicts are brilliantly developed. All her characters feel like real, three-dimensional people who act in accordance with their convincingly-portrayed psychological makeup. Relatively few of the conflicts in this book are due to coincidence; it’s real-seeming characters behaving in uncontrived but conflicting ways. Very well done, that. Eliot also makes this seem so effortless and genuine and unartificial, which is another big mark in her favour. And finally, while she cares about all her characters (the omniscient authorial voice will sometimes straight-up tell readers as much), she does not shrink back from subjecting them to ruin and despair -- her caring for these characters does emphatically not trump the consequences of their unfavourable (in)actions or incompatible desires.

This was a wonderful read by an author who knows what they are doing. Those are the best books. ( )
  Petroglyph | Dec 22, 2018 |
(Original Review, 2002-06-15)

A drop of water on your head is easy to ignore; a constant drop in the same spot becomes a form of torture.

For some women, their big problem is they can't kick out a cheating boyfriend. For others, their problem is they can't say no to a bridezilla best friend. Others are hung up on their bosses, or confused about their careers, or having issues with overbearing mothers, or with parents getting divorced, etc. In fact, the full range of human experience that a young single woman in her twenties might encounter. How about going for a long walk instead of watching TV, putting down your (collective you, not you, VoxGirl) fork, and drinking water, unsweetened tea and black coffee instead of sodas and lattes? High self-esteem out the ying-yang will naturally result, and as a bonus, no more need for chick-lit.

As for the 'it's the women's fault for having low self-esteem' argument, well, if you want to be in a loving relationship or married someday, and your looks have been made fun of for most of your life, and then almost every form of media available to you during the course of your entire life, from books to movies to TV shows to advertisements show beautiful women - and almost exclusively beautiful women - finding love, it just may affect you, no matter how strong you are and how confident you may be in other aspects of your life.

Quite a lot of TV shows, movies, etc. show average-looking men (even without power or status) who win the hearts of (or are married to) stunningly beautiful women; how many TV shows or movies have average-looking women (without power or status) winning the hearts of (or being married to) stunningly handsome men?

It's not just chick-lit; even literature and literary novels about love and marriage, whether George Eliot's “Middlemarch” to Jeffrey Eugenides's “The Marriage Plot”, tend to feature very beautiful women as the romantic leads. If I want to read about a pleasant-looking-but-not-beautiful romantic heroine in “literature,” I can safely turn to Austen or the Brontës, but I'm having trouble thinking of more examples. ( )
  antao | Nov 26, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (134 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ashton, RosemaryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Creswick, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Faber, MichelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haight, Gordon S.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harvey, W. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mead, RebeccaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, GabrielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Who that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa, has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl waling forth one morning hand-in-hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? (Prelude)
Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
The nineteenth century was an age of intense intellectual ferment. (Introduction)
Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.
What we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.
Riding was an indulgence which she allowed herself in spite of conscientious qualms; she felt that she enjoyed it in a pagan sensuous way, and always looked forward to renouncing it.
Some discouragement, some faintness of the heart at the new real future which replaces the imaginary, is not unusual, and we do not expect people to be deeply moved by what is not unusual. That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotions of mankind.
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Wikipedia in English


Book description
By the time the novel appeared to tremendous popular and critical acclaim in 1871-2, George Eliot was recognized as England's finest living novelist. It was her ambition to create a world and portray a whole community--tradespeople, middle classes, country gentry--in the rising provincial town of Middlemarch, circa 1830. Vast and crowded, rich in narrative irony and suspense, «Middlemarch» is richer still in character, in its sense of how individual destinies are shaped by and shape the community, and in the great art that enlarges the reader's sympathy and imagination. It is truly, as Virginia Woolf famously remarked, 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people'.
Haiku summary
dorothea cares

in a world not quite ready

to accept her views
Interwoven fates,
A tapestry of stories,
Each thread a life.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439548, Paperback)

It was George Eliot’s ambition to create a world and portray a whole community—tradespeople, middle classes, country gentry—in the rising fictional provincial town of Middlemarch, circa 1830. Vast and crowded, rich in narrative irony and
suspense, Middlemarch is richer still in character and in its sense of how individual destinies are shaped by and shape the community.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:03 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Set in a provincial Victorian neighborhood, the author explores the complex social relationship and the struggle to hold fast to personal tragedy in a materialistic environment.

» see all 43 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439548, 0141199792, 0143123815

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102162, 1400108632

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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