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Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Middlemarch (1872)

by George Eliot

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,887208221 (4.19)14 / 1514
  1. 121
    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 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. 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.
  10. 00
    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (amanda4242)
  11. 00
    Deerbrook by Harriet Martineau (souloftherose)
  12. 01
    George Eliot. by Elsemarie Maletzke (JuliaMaria)
  13. 03
    Ulysses by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
    kara.shamy: Similar -- almost unique really -- in their tremendous breadth and depth...
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English (200)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All (208)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
This book manages to be very local and provincial (as the subtitle suggests) but yet contains so much of the world in its detailed portraits of the inhabitants of Middlemarch. There is the quiet power and capability of the women in it, the messy families and relationships, the dark pasts and the sense of the world changing in the back drop. It manages to be compelling, funny, knowledgeable and suspenseful in turn, and by the end is a real pageturner. I expected it to be more of a challenge to read, but found it delightfully enjoyable, and felt quite sad when it was over. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Mar 18, 2017 |
I am so happy I tackled this 19th century classic, and even more glad that I persevered even though repeated pauses while I read books that were due back at the library. Truthfully, once I got into the heart of the book, there was no question about finishing it eventually. I found myself thoroughly invested in the parallel stories of marriage presented by saintly young Dorothea and her elderly clergyman/scholar husband Casaubon, by beautiful spoiled Rosamund and ambitious medical man Lydgate, and by plain but smart and secure Mary and careless layabout Fred.

The course of true loves does not run smoothly for any of our three couples, and all three face challenges from outsiders who may or may not be a better match. Eliot had a fine touch for drawing characters; where I started the book by finding Dorothea rather annoying and naïve, I ended it by admiring her incessant desire to do good. And where I started by wanting to slap some common sense into Rosamund, I ended by ... well, wanting to slap some common sense into Rosamund. Not everyone has a conversion on the road to Damascus, you know.

All of the denizens of Middlemarch County are worth getting to know, saints and scoundrels alike. And I still find myself thinking about some of them, and wondering what happened to them after the book ended, although Eliot does do a nice wrap-up at the end by fast-forwarding to show us what the future had to hold for these people we just spent 1,000 pages with. If you can fight your way through the elaborate 19th century language (really the only "fault" I can find with this book) you will be richly rewarded for your time.

I marked so many passages for quotation, but I'll just leave you with just a few:

Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.

A woman dictates before marriage in order that she may have an appetite for submission afterwards.

To know intense joy without a strong bodily frame, one must have an enthusiastic soul. Mr. Casaubon had never had a strong bodily frame, and his soul was sensitive without being enthusiastic: It was too languid to thrill out of self-consciousness into passionate delight; it went on fluttering in the swampy ground where it was hatched, thinking of its wings and never flying.

A man is seldom ashamed of feeling that he cannot love a woman so well when he sees a certain greatness in her: nature having intended greatness for men. ( )
2 vote rosalita | Mar 5, 2017 |
Varied narratives describing the life of people in and around the fictional town of Middlemarch. Enjoyable victorian realism, if anything too broad in the story telling for me (lost track on occasion as I mostly read this over my lunch breaks and on public transport). ( )
  kale.dyer | Mar 3, 2017 |
A momentous book. I read a critic who called it the greatest English novel of the 19th century, and I was skeptical. But the breadth of Eliot's wisdom, compassion, and understanding of human character is remarkable. Everyone should read this book. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
What can I say about Middlemarch? It's such a beautiful book on so many levels. Eliot possesses incredible insight into the human heart, particularly the ways that our perceptions of ourselves come into tension with our life circumstances, and the frustrating choices that can result when that happens. The final 50 pages are wonderfully redemptive, as powerful as any other work of literature I can think of. Worth reading and re-reading every few years to hold on to its insights. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
I am so happy I tackled this 19th century classic, and even more glad that I persevered even though repeated pauses while I read books that were due back at the library. Truthfully, once I got into the heart of the book, there was no question about finishing it eventually. I found myself thoroughly invested in the parallel stories of marriage presented by saintly young Dorothea and her elderly clergyman/scholar husband Casaubon, by beautiful spoiled Rosamund and ambitious medical man Lydgate, and by plain but smart and secure Mary and careless layabout Fred.

The course of true loves does not run smoothly for any of our three couples, and all three face challenges from outsiders who may or may not be a better match. Eliot had a fine touch for drawing characters; where I started the book by finding Dorothea rather annoying and naïve, I ended it by admiring her incessant desire to do good. And where I started by wanting to slap some common sense into Rosamund, I ended by ... well, wanting to slap some common sense into Rosamund. Not everyone has a conversion on the road to Damascus, you know.

All of the denizens of Middlemarch County are worth getting to know, saints and scoundrels alike. And I still find myself thinking about some of them, and wondering what happened to them after the book ended, although Eliot does do a nice wrap-up at the end by fast-forwarding to show us what the future had to hold for these people we just spent 1,000 pages with. If you can fight your way through the elaborate 19th century language (really the only "fault" I can find with this book) you will be richly rewarded for your time.

I marked so many passages for quotation, but I'll just leave you with just a few:

Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.

A woman dictates before marriage in order that she may have an appetite for submission afterwards.

To know intense joy without a strong bodily frame, one must have an enthusiastic soul. Mr. Casaubon had never had a strong bodily frame, and his soul was sensitive without being enthusiastic: It was too languid to thrill out of self-consciousness into passionate delight; it went on fluttering in the swampy ground where it was hatched, thinking of its wings and never flying.

A man is seldom ashamed of feeling that he cannot love a woman so well when he sees a certain greatness in her: nature having intended greatness for men
 

» 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
Harvey, W. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mead, RebeccaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, GabrielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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)
Quotations
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.
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
Middlemarch was written by George Eliot (aka Mary Anne Evans or Marian Evans), not Charles Dickens.
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Book description
Haiku summary
dorothea cares

in a world not quite ready

to accept her views

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 9 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 25 descriptions

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Audible.com

24 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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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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