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Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Middlemarch (original 1872; edition 2012)

by George Eliot

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,844174259 (4.21)14 / 1339
  1. 110
    Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (christiguc, Hollerama)
  2. 93
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (shallihavemydwarf)
  3. 50
    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (Booksloth)
  4. 30
    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.
  5. 20
    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)
  6. 20
    South Riding: An English Landscape by Winifred Holtby (Booksloth)
  7. 31
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (PensiveCat)
  8. 20
    The Victorian House: Domestic Life from Childbirth to Deathbed by Judith Flanders (susanbooks)
  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. 01
    George Eliot. by Elsemarie Maletzke (JuliaMaria)
  11. 03
    Ulysses by James Joyce (kara.shamy)
    kara.shamy: Similar -- almost unique really -- in their tremendous breadth and depth...
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English (166)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (174)
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
So proud to have read this book at last! And it was wonderful. It's true, you do have to accustom yourself to the style, but the rewards are great. Insightful, sometimes sad, often witty. Thanks to my wonderful book club (are we forever the Middlemarchers?) for the impetus to read this magnificent novel! ( )
  DowntownLibrarian | Jul 23, 2015 |
With all of its 880 pages, I expected “more” in terms of a definitive plot, which I did not find. The characters are rich and the time period displayed beautifully by Eliot. Her descriptive powers are delicious as evidenced by description of Mr. Casaubon: "as genuine a character as any ruminant animal". (pg. 173) The pace of the book is slow and reminds somewhat of Austen and Wharton. I have 2-3 other Eliot’s in my anthology and as of right now I’m not anxious to begin them. ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Jun 28, 2015 |
[From Books and You, Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1940, pp. 18-21:]

Now I come to Middlemarch. Judged simply as a piece of fiction it seems to me better than either of the novels I have just been discussing [Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds and Meredith’s The Egoist]. It is an excellent piece of craftsmanship. It cannot have been easy to construct, for George Eliot has taken as her subject not one group of persons in one social sphere, but different groups in different spheres, giving you a picture of the landed gentry who live on their estates round the town of Middlemarch, and the professional men, merchants and tradesmen who inhabit it. You are not asked, as you are by so many novelists, to concern yourself with the fortunes of two or three people who live in vacuum, as it were, so that the world outside them is of no moment, but with the fortunes of all the sorts and conditions of men who make up the world in which we all live; and their various stories are managed with consummate skill. Nor, as often happens when less skilful writers attempt this complicated form of fiction, is your interest confined to one set of characters so that when you are asked to transfer it to another you do so with disinclination; George Eliot enlists your sympathies equally with them all, and she passes from one lot of people to another as naturally as in real life we pass from the people who are associated with one side of it to the people who are associated with another. This gives the novel a singular air of reality. Although the action begins when George the Fourth was still King of England we say to ourselves that this is the sort of thing we know life to be. The characters, and there are a great many of them, are wonderfully natural; they are observed with precision, so that each one stands on his own feet, a human being with his own idiosyncrasies; but George Eliot had no glow and she could not give the creatures of her invention the quality of the archangel which George Meredith was so often able to give his (and it occurs to me that this is a legitimate excuse for Clara Middleton never giving a thought to her trousseau, for doubtless an archangel would not consider the need of a wedding-gown); George Eliot saw them coolly, accurately, but with sympathy. Her heroes are no more heroic than we are and her villains no more villainous. She got so into the skin of her personages that we see them not only as others see them but as they see themselves, and thus even Mr Casaubon is not only a hateful figure but also a pitiable one. They have a modern air, for they are not solely occupied with their emotions; they are concerned with politics and interest themselves in the problems of the day; economic questions enter into their lives as they enter into ours: they have heads as well as hearts. They are in short very much the same sort of people we are. I should be inclined to sum up my judgment of Middlemarch by saying that George Eliot had every gift of the great novelist but fire. No English author has given an ampler and more reasonable interpretation of life; the only quality that escaped her sensible and sympathetic observation was romance.
  WSMaugham | Jun 12, 2015 |
I had an interview once with someone for whom I have much respect and who I had heard was very well-read. Naturally, I worked the topic of conversation around to literature, and we had a lively discussion on the merits of several British authors. His favorite book is Middlemarch, which he said that he reads when he’s not in the mood for anything heavy. For whatever reason, I have an image of him very Mr. Bennet-like, enjoying folly and being amused by the profane. I had to confess to him that I had never read that particular book. I did not get the job.

I resolved to read that book around New Years’. I picked up a soft bound copy of Middlemarch from my local library toward the end of February and was surprised at its girth. No light reading after all, it would seem. I read it on the train to and from an internship and then tried a few nights to just give it a few hours at a time. And alas, alack, I could not do it. After 200 pages, I gave up. I more than gave up–I borrowed the BBC adaptation from my local library. Sigh.

So why could I not finish it? The characters were a little too flat. They all had a touch of the ridiculous in them, which I generally like. But the characters all seemed so very one-dimensional to me–so much so that I could never really become interested in any of their stories; I never needed to see what happens next with them. I just didn’t care.
( )
  mullgirl | Jun 8, 2015 |
Trying to write a simple review of Middlemarch is difficult because I am not sure where to begin. This novel was one of the best novels I have read in a long time. With many plot twists and turns George Elliot engages the reader on many levels. Beyond the plot and character development (which are superb) Elliot writes with amazing description and eloquence. She literally paints works of art with her words. If the reader is a writer or communicator in any fashion, he or she can not help but feel that they just spent 900 pages being schooled in the ways of critical engagement.

Her main story line involving Dorthea offers a modern critique to the notion that an individual must fit the societal mold to be something or be someone of importance. She shows us that it is often the obscure and unnoticed who make the world what it is. One can not help but leave this novel feeling empowered to rediscover the beauty of simplicity while living in a such a materialistic and narcissistic culture like Western Civilization.

From beginning to end it was a phenomenal book. However, the reader must pay close attention to the rhythm of Elliot's writing. She goes back and forth between various plots of the overarching story rather quickly and quietly. If the reader can stay in step with Elliot throughout the text, he or she will arrive at an ending that will surely delight and impact on many profound levels. ( )
  Noah_Schumacher | Apr 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (73 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ashton, RosemaryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Creswick, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harvey, W. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, GabrielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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.
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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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 26 descriptions

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Average: (4.21)
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Audible.com

21 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

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