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Adam Bede | [George Eliot]

Adam Bede

George Eliot’s first full length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love. 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, who delights only in her baubles—and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand.
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Publisher's Summary

George Eliot’s first full length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love.

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, who delights only in 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. Only in the lovely Dinah Morris, a preacher, does Adam find his redemption.

George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann, or Marian, Evans (1819–1880), was an English Victorian novelist of the first rank. An assistant editor for the Westminster Review from 1851 to 1854, she wrote her first fiction in 1857 and her first full length novel, Adam Bede, in 1859. In her writing, she was chiefly preoccupied with moral problems, especially the moral development of her characters.

Public Domain (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Adam Bede has taken its place among the actual experiences and endurances of my life.” (Charles Dickens)

“A firstrate novel.” (Times, London)

“Adam Bede was Eliot’s first long novel. Its masterly realism—evident, for example, in the recording of Derbyshire dialect—brought to English fiction the same truthful observation of minute detail that John Ruskin was commending in the PreRaphaelites. But what was new in this work of English fiction was the combination of deep human sympathy and rigorous moral judgment.” (Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (11 )
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  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-16-13
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-16-13 Member Since 2006

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First George Eliot Novel and First-Rate!"

    This has it all - great setting, characters, love triangles, tragedy, and a lot very welcome comedy, as well!

    I had never read this first book by George Eliot, but I must now rate it as one of my favorites. And I suspect that is partly because I have just first experienced "Adam Bede" in the audio format! The dialects of Eliot's wonderful people would be hard-going in book form, but Wanda McCaddon renders them understandable yet full of character and personality.

    This is a familiar old story. Class distinction, misplaced affection in Victorian England leads to unhappiness and tragedy. Yet the strong, the hard working, and the morally resolute prevail in the end.

    Adam Bede, the title character, is not necessarily the most interesting or the most important character in this book, yet one understands why the author chose him to represent what she believes to be the epitome of British virtue. It's not a revolutionary or a shocking novel, but Eliot weaves the old tale with a real mastery of description, characterization, and humor. I highly recommend this book, and especially the narration of Wanda McCaddon.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 03-04-14
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2010
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    "A wonderful novel brilliantly narrated"

    It's amazing that this is Eliot's first novel. The story telling, the dialogue, and the reflections are all so assured. The narration is truly wonderful. I'm originally from the part of England where Eliot grew up and where I imagine it to be set, and she gets the accents dead on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Viki ABERDEEN, MS, United States 11-16-13
    Viki ABERDEEN, MS, United States 11-16-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent, excellent book."
    Would you listen to Adam Bede again? Why?

    I look forward to it. It was beautiful and artfully narrated. Count me in.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was unlike so many Dickensonian stories. It was plain and real and lovely.


    Which character – as performed by Wanda McCaddon – was your favorite?

    I loved Totty...she was perfect.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. It was so possible...so sad. Poor, poor Hettie. Women are such suckers!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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