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Adam Bede by George Eliot

Adam Bede (1859)

by George Eliot

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3,350522,345 (3.87)231
  1. 50
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (Heather39)
    Heather39: Both books tell the story of a young, working class woman who enters into a relationship with a gentleman, eventually to her downfall.

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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Adam Bede is a classic that reads even better after many years.

Unlike Wuthering Heights, which overflows with meanness and cruelty and not the remembered passion,
George Eliot's first book still flows into a compelling story of love sorrowfully lost. Characters and locale,
as well as dogs and food, are finely revealed.

Okay, this doesn't make Dinah's speeches any less insufferable, or awful baby talk,
chronic female complaining, or guide Hetty away from increasingly awful thinking.
And when, aside from Vixen, did sex occur? Does a dropped handkerchief signify seduction?

Just wish the return of Transported Hetty had more dramatic momentum!

"...we cannot reform our forefathers." ( )
1 vote m.belljackson | Mar 2, 2018 |
M100 General Works
  TLH7718 | Dec 15, 2017 |
3.5 for me. It was slow to start wasn't sure I was going to finish.
About middle of book 3 I couldn't but it down.
George Eliot is a great writer very dense and sobering.
Nothing like a Dickens or a Trollope. ( )
  lemonpop | Nov 22, 2017 |
3.5* for the book; 4* for the Wanda McCadden narration of the audiobook edition

I liked the historical setting (~1799-1800) and felt that the characters were believable & not too preachy (even Dinah, the Methodist preacher, wasn't overly preachy). ( )
  leslie.98 | Oct 25, 2017 |
Our title character is a good man and a simple one. He sees the world in black and white. Work hard, take care of your family, and you will lead a good life. He falls in love with an impetuous young woman named Hetty. Unfortunately, Hetty has fallen for the wealthy Captain Arthur Donnithorne, a man above her station, but one who is still susceptible to the young woman’s charms.

I loved the character of Dinah. She could be perceived as a killjoy or prude, but she never cane across to me like that. She is Hetty’s cousin and is a Methodist preacher who travels the countryside serving in local communities. Keep in mind, this was at a time when it was unusual for a woman to travel about on her own, much less to serve as a leader in the church. She has a fierce strength and independence and doesn’t give into the pleas from her family to give up her calling.

When she is asked about being a woman preacher, this is what she says…

“When God makes His presence felt through us, we are like the burning bush: Moses never took any heed what sort of bush it was—he only saw the brightness of the Lord.”

Dinah: When she does finally fall for Adam, she still doesn’t agree to marry until he declares that he will never stand in the way of her duties as a preacher and he fully supports her. I was a bit heartbroken from Adam’s brother Seth, since he’s the one who originally pursued Dinah.

Hetty’s story is so heartbreaking. I can’t imagine feeling so hopeless and abandoned. In the midst of her panic about her pregnancy she didn’t trust anyone with her secret and so she was unwilling to look for other options. Even though her life was spared, her future was still going to be full of grief and guilt no matter what.


BOTTOM LINE: I loved it. It reminded me so much of Tess of the d’Urbervilles and The Return of the Native (both of which were published decades after this one). It’s an intense look at the desperation of one woman and the man who loved her. I appreciated the rich depth of characters like Dinah and Adam. I also liked that Arthur wasn't a one-note cad. He easily could have been, but instead we see the situation from his point of view as well.

“What destroys us most effectively is not a malign fate but our own capacity for self-deception and for degrading our own best self.”

“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life--to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?”

“Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Mar 2, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (79 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George Eliotprimary authorall editionscalculated
Busken Huet-van der Tholl, Anna DorotheaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, W. D.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Israëls, JozefIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reynolds, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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With a single drop of ink for a mirror, the Egyptian sorceror undertakes to reveal to any chance comer far-reaching visions of the past.
When Marian Evans left her native Warwickshire in 1851 for London to assist John Chapman as editor and write for the Westminster Review, she took with her the memory of people and places that appear, transformed, in the fiction published under her pseudonym 'George Eliot'. (Introduction)
It is near the end of June, in 1807. (Epilogue)
The germ of 'Adam Bede' was an anecdote told me by my Methodist Aunt Samuel (the wife of my Father's younger brother): an anecdote from her own experience. (Appendix 1: George Eliot's History of Adam Bede)
At the Lent Assizes for the Town of Nottingham, held on Thursday, March 11, 1802, before the Hon. Sir Robert Graham, Knt. one of the Barons of his Majesty's Court of Exchequer, Mary Voce, aged 24, wife of ---Voce, bricklayer, was indicted for the willful murder of her daughter, Elizabeth Voce, an infant, in the parish of St. Mary, in the town of Nottingham, by administering a certain poisonous substance, called arsenic, mized in water in a tea-cup, to the said Elizabeth Voce, of which she languished a few hours in extreme agony, and then expired. (Appendix 2)
What a look of yearning love it was that the mild grey eyes turned on the strong dark-eyed man!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140431217, Paperback)

Adam Bede is a hardy young carpenter who cares for his aging mother. His one weakness is the woman he loves blindly: the trifling town beauty, Hetty Sorrel, whose only delights are her baubles - and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand. Betrayed by their innocence, both Adam and Hetty allow their foolish hearts to trap them in a triangle of seduction, murder, and retribution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:16 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Set in early nineteenth-century English countryside, an English squire yields to the temptations of an innocent country girl and crime, remorse, and suffering are the consequences.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 140010212X, 1400108942

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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