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The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss (1860)

by George Eliot

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MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,42767801 (3.78)307
  1. 100
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Two Victorian heroines approach the question of how to reconcile passion and morality in very different ways.
  2. 60
    Middlemarch by George Eliot (Booksloth)
  3. 41
    Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Booksloth)
  4. 00
    David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (kara.shamy)
  5. 44
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (roby72)

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I enjoyed the humor of the book but I didn't find Maggie the strong character that she's supposed to be. She's far too dependent on her brother for her own good. ( )
  pussreboots | Oct 1, 2014 |
I really expected to love George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss -- I adored Middlemarch and Victorian novels are really my genre. But boy, I really struggled with this book.

The story follows Maggie Tulliver, who wants to be loved and seeks approval from her family who is reluctant to give it. She grows up in find love in too many places but still can't find approval. There was a bizarre twist of a ending that really didn't make a whole lot of sense in terms of the rest of story.

Overall, I just found this book incredibly dull. Eliot's long expositions did nothing for me and I honestly had trouble staying awake for more an a few pages. It got a bit interesting in the middle, then fell apart again. Just a dud of a book for me. ( )
  amerynth | Sep 19, 2014 |

But until every good man is brave, we must expect to find many good women timid, too timid even to believe in the correctness of their own best promptings when these would place them in a minority. And the men at St. Ogg’s were not all brave by any means; some of them were even fond of scandal, and to an extent that might have given their conversation an effeminate character if it had not been distinguished by masculine jokes and by an occasional shrug of the shoulders at the mutual hatred of women. It was a general feeling of the masculine mind at St. Ogg’s that women were not to be interfered with in their treatment of each other.

Pay no heed to the stars. There's Marian (Mary Ann) Evans, and then there's everyone else. The only meaning that four-and-a-half signifies is that I do not feel this to be as masterful as [Middlemarch], an achievement few novels and even fewer established classics accomplish.

Childhood has no forebodings, but then, it is soothed by no memories of outlived sorrow.

I have a sister, or rather I have a tie to this world that I will not break. If nothing else, I have her, and when I no longer have her, I do not know what I will do, but those are not thoughts that need be dwelt upon today. It is because of her that I have those "memories of outlived sorrow", and as such this portrayal of siblinghood that only Evans could create cut me to the quick. Not as deep as it could, however, for with my own kindred I share the solidarity of gender, a bond that eases the translation of one's pain from one to the other and back again. I might not be as forthright a feminist as I am today had I a brother in place of a sister.

You thank God for nothing but your own virtues; you think they are great enough to win you everything else. You have not even a vision of feelings by the side of which your shining virtues are mere darkness!

You could call this a romance, a tragedy, a bildungsroman of highest order, but as with [Middlemarch] Evans writes life in all its entanglements, every lazy dichotomy of good and evil skeined forth in veins that mix and match in that stringent mess humanity has made of life in an effort to live. It is a heartbeat that equates knowing with feeling and seeks to raise both to the utmost, a rare genius that does not excuse its oppression by way of its omniscience. Here is high society, here is high knowledge, here is the patriarchy laid bare with a keen and empathetic glance that transcribed in ink an effort to convey her insight to others, and if there are those who say 'twas a shame the author lived in the times she did, forbear. It's a shame that for all the respect accorded to her in the echelons of literature, for all the phenomenal works she composed in earnest, for all the readers she has inspired ever on, here and there and everywhere she is brought into existence through the letters of her pen name. Marian Evans is her name; you do her no respect by calling her otherwise.

Many things are difficult and dark to me, but I see one thing quite clearly: that I must not, cannot, seek my own happiness by sacrificing others.

For all the gorgeous resonance this novel called forth, for all the strength and endurance of its anti-gaslighting measures that should be heralded in every tale of love involving a woman and/or others with less power in their inherent lot in life, I did not give it five stars because of the ending.While the afterword rhapsodized on about tragedy and the Greeks and all that ancient jazz, I do not hold by a system of thought that proclaims the mental disturbance of a man a true tragedy and the death of a woman a mere accident. What I love most about Evans is her ability to make prominent and noteworthy the conflicts and resolutions of daily life, and while I respect her efforts to take a different path, it is not the one for me. When it comes down to it, making a meaningful conclusion with everyone alive is far more difficult than sacrificing a few to theme and pathos; I admire far more those writers who choose life over death.However, whatever the anathema accredited to spoilers, it is a poor piece of work indeed which may be utterly ruined by the single turn of plot. As here we have the very opposite, (indeed, I would be amazed if Evans were even capable of turning out a poor piece of work), my quibble is a personal one, and should not affect your eagerness to read this in the slightest. And eager you should be; you'll never look at soap operas in fiction, or or romantic relations in real life, or women, or yourself, the same way again.

I am not resigned; I am not sure that life is long enough to learn that lesson.

P.S. If ever you come across a copy of this book with every single 'George Eliot' crossed out and 'Marian Evans' written above where it counts: it was once mine. ( )
1 vote Korrick | Aug 29, 2014 |
I read this when I was studying in England and I have distinct memories of sitting on benches in Regents Park with my library copy. The copy I was reading was one of those charming small British hardcovers with thin pages. I can practically feel the pages, the sun on my face, and the light wind tossing my hair around as I think about it. I'm sure that contributes to my fondness for the book. ( )
2 vote tercat | Nov 19, 2013 |
I read this because my high school English teacher assigned the class to read some book by [b:Toni Morrison|6149|Beloved|Toni Morrison|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1165555299s/6149.jpg|736076] with excessive amounts of graphic sex (excessive means "any"). I had never heard of it, and I have hardly heard of it since, but I enjoyed it. ( )
  publiusdb | Aug 22, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (94 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Byatt, A. S.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daiches, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Livesey, MargotIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacNeill, AlysonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manning, WrayIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A wide plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace. On this mighty tide the black ships -laden with the fresh-scented fir-planks, with rounded sacks of oil-bearing seed, or with the dark glitter of coal - are borne along to the town of St. Ogg's, which shows its aged, fluted red roofs and the broad gables of its wharves between the low wooded hill and the river-brink, tingeing the water with a soft purple hue under the transient glance of this February sun. Far away on each hand stretch the rich pastures, and the patches of dark earth made ready for the seed of broad-leaved green crops, or touched already with the tint of the tender-bladed autumn-sown corn. There is a remnant still of last year's golden clusters of beehive-ricks rising at intervals beyond the hedgerows; and everywhere the hedgerows are studded with trees; the distant ships seem to be lifting their masts and stretching their red-brown sails close among the branches of the spreading ash. Just by the red-roofed town the tributary Ripple flows with a lively current into the Floss. How lovely the little river is, with its dark changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander along the bank, and listen to its low, placid voice, as to the voice of one who is deaf and loving. I remember those large dipping willows. I remember the stone bridge.
Such things as these are the mother-tongue of our imagination, the language that is laden with all the subtle, inextricable associations the fleeting hours of our childhood left behind them. Our delight in the sunshine on the deep-bladed grass to-day might be no more than the faint perception of wearied souls, if it were not for the sunshine and the grass in the far-off years which still live in us, and transform our perception into love.
There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439629, Paperback)

Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family. As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men: her proud and stubborn brother, a close friend who is also the son of her family's worst enemy, and a charismatic but dangerous suitor. With its poignant portrayal of sibling relationships, The Mill on the Floss is considered George Eliot's most autobiographical novel; it is also one of her most powerful and moving.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:47 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Maggie Tulliver, passionate and imaginative, comes into conflict with the middle-class narrowness of the town of St. Ogg's and with her beloved brother Tom.

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

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439629, 0141198915

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