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Middlemarch | [George Eliot]

Middlemarch

At the center of Middlemarch is Dorothea Brooke, a thoughtful and idealistic young woman determined to make a difference with her life. Enamored of a man who she believes is setting this example, she traps herself into a loveless marriage. Her parallel is Tertius Lydgate, a young doctor from the city whose passionate ambition to spread the new science of medicine is complicated by his love for the wrong woman.
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Publisher's Summary

Named for the fictional community in which it is set, Middlemarch is George Eliot's rich and teeming portrait of provincial life in Victorian England. In it, a panoply of complicated characters attempt to carry out their destinies against the various social expectations that accompany their classes and genders.

At the center of the narrative is Dorothea Brooke, a thoughtful and idealistic young woman determined to make a difference with her life. Enamored of a man she believes is setting this example, she traps herself into a loveless marriage. Her parallel is Tertius Lydgate, a young doctor from the city whose passionate ambition to spread the new science of medicine is complicated by his love for the wrong woman.

Epic in scope and unsurpassed in its study of human nature, Middlemarch is one of the greatest works of world literature.

Listen to the classics: peruse our full list of titles by George Eliot.

(P)1994 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"One of the few English novels written for grown-up people." (Virginia Woolf)
"One of the most profound, wise, and absorbing of English novels...and above all, truthful and forgiving about human behavior." (Hermione Lee)
"No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative....No writer has ever represented the ambiguities of moral choice so fully." (V.S. Pritchett)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (386 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.1 (183 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (180 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bernadette Stacey 08-27-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Charming"

    I really enjoyed the experience of listening to this classic. I was engaged in the story, cared about the characters and laughed out loud at some of George's descriptions of her protagonists. I had tried to read this book long ago and gave up. Listening to the story was such a different delightful experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JC YAKIMA, WA, United States 04-01-12
    JC YAKIMA, WA, United States 04-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    16
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "19th Century English Provincial Life"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Middlemarch to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mary Grant - steady & sensible. George Eliot's strength is how completely each character is drawn.


    Have you listened to any of Nadia May’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    She does a great job of giving each character in the book.


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

    It is not an emotional book, but interesting plumbing the depths of the interior life.


    Any additional comments?

    It's long but the characters draw one in to the stories of their lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cassie Melnikow 06-17-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    174
    11
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    Overall
    "Stick It Out To Part 3!"

    I have to admit I almost gave up on this book and based on the first half, it would be likely a 1 star. The first half is 90% introduction and description of a million characters (some of which prove extraneous) but the plot really picks up in the second half and makes it worth the wait! Since the book is about the lives of people in the town of Middlemarch, it has a much greater number of characters than a typical English classic. If you can make it through the first half, the second half is a 5 star...if you ignore the narration.

    The narrator isn't the greatest. There are long pauses between just about every sentence (I'm assuming from recording one sentence at a time) and definitely mispronounces some words. Sometimes you can hear the editing break mid-sentence and occasionally the phone ringing in the background. I'd gotten used to these annoyances by the time the book picked up in Part 3, but this is definitely the worst narration I've listened to so far. I recommend the book overall, but not to anyone who can't get past a bad narration.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Johannesburg, South Africa 07-12-12
    Brett Johannesburg, South Africa 07-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring!"
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    no idea


    Would you ever listen to anything by George Eliot again?

    Have enjoyed his stuff before


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Here characters sounded very similare - not suprising really as there were way too many of them for any one book


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Bordom


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tracy thatcher, AZ, United States 05-08-09
    tracy thatcher, AZ, United States 05-08-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    Overall
    "In the middle"

    This book is set in middle class England in the 1800's. I believe it was written then as well. I was looking forward to listening to this based on the other reviews, but it fell short for me. It was VERY slow and hard to get into. I read a lot of books written in that time era, so I know how to read old english, but the storyline was about as so-so as the name implies. I suppose as a book to preserve the by-gone ways of life, it merits reading, but don't be expecting the greatness of many of the classics.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katelyn el mirage, AZ, USA 05-16-09
    Katelyn el mirage, AZ, USA 05-16-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    44
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    "I want my credit back!"

    I can't believe that I wasted my credit on this one, and I can't believe that I actually stuck with it till the end hoping that it would get better. I must be a fool. The whole story is just about a neighborhood and a few particular families. It wasn't even one of those books that capture human nature at it's finest with great insight into the soul. It was so boring.

    1 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 04-01-07
    Sharon 04-01-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    377
    21
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    "I am TRYING"

    I am trying, really trying to follow this book. I am trying really trying to care what happens in the next chapter or sentence.

    I have never read George Elliot...so, I felt I SHOULD. Now, I am not adverse to difficult literature, but this is just painful. I would rather spend the rest of my life listening to French New Wave writing from the 50's (where it takes 50 pages for the character to open a door)

    For technical reasons I had to re-load the book on my itunes, I had to figure out where I had left off and I was SURE that I had listed to at least two segments, but, well I am still only 1/2 way through the first download....with 3 1/2 left to go. I hope to eventually get through the whole thing. Wish me luck!

    4 of 32 people found this review helpful

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