The novel is set in the small town of Middlemarch and follows the inter-related lives of several characters. At the heart of the book is Dorothea, a kind-hearted and honest woman, who longs to find some way to improve the world. She marries an older academic, Casaubon, against the advice of her friends and family. Casaubon tries to assert his influence over Dorothea, but she refuses to succumb to Casaubon's will. Casaubon soon dies of a heart attack, and Dorothea marries his cousin, Will. But, in a last attempt to control Dorothea's life, Casaubon's will states that if Dorothea marries Will, she will lose her claim to Casaubon's estate.
Other unforgettable characters in Middlemarch include the young doctor, Lydgate, who come to the town to start his own practice. He soon falls in love with Rosamund, a woman who has spent her life in Middlemarch, and they eventually marry. Fred Vincey, used to a lavish lifestyle but also a gambler, falls into debt as he waits to inherit money from a rich neighbor. He drifts toward the clergy, and longs to marry Mary Garth. But until he proves himself worthy, Mary will have nothing to do with him.
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George Eliot creates a whole world that is now completely real to me. I'd like to spend time with these characters again.
Fred Vincy-- reminds me of myself. Also Lydgate because he is complex. And of course Dorothea-- even though she is so good all the time I am able to appreciate her for it.
The writing! Her sentences are crafted! Brilliantly crafted!! and hearing them was the only way to truly digest the richness.
The craftsmanship of the story that capture the cultures, classes and overlapping dynamics.
Tough question. Too many. Probably the death of the uncle, as he was asking Mary to get the wills. But also when Dorothea walks in on Latislaw and Rosamund. But also the scene where Dorothea then comes to see Rosamund.
no, wanted to, and did, savour it over and over again.
I've listened to Kate Reading before and very much liked her readings, but this one didn't work for me. Juliet Stevenson's version is much better.
I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.
Of course, this is a must. Read this first in a university class Women in Literature. There is everything right about this story.
Either a much shorter book or much more interesting characters. I cheered the ending--because it was the end, not because it had a good ending. The story read like a soap opera without the titillation.
George Eliot (the author)
I very rarely fail to finish a book, but this one came really close to reaching that level. I wished I had stopped after part 1, but I had heard how great the book was and figured it was just a slow starter. By the final part all hope of greatness was over, but finishing it was like completing a race--in mud.
In the opening pages Elliott presents the notion of an unknown saint, then proceeds to flesh this character out in the exquisite detail of an entire world. In result both the human complexity and secret logic of such divinity is revealed. It's a breathtaking lesson in the possibility of soul. The narrator couldn't have helped more. Wow.
I bought this because I thought it seemed a good value for the money. Not only is the subject matter a snooze, the author is dry and droll. I am using it to put myself to sleep at night.
The first half of this book is a 5 star wonder. Deep psychology, interesting, breezes along, seemingly original characters. The trouble is, that for some reason, the book breaks down. The most interesting characters are sterilized and sent off to foreign countries and you are left with gossipy judgemental old women and horrible tedious scenes which go nowhere, and were obvious from the first time two characters met. I mean, you know how it will all play out, and still, there is excruciating detail to get you there. This starts out as a book written for adults, and winds down into one written for teenagers in a religious education class, about on the level of a brochure telling young people why they will go blind if they masturbate. I just kept fast forwarding and wondering what happened? You would not guess the book to have all been written by the same author.
I need more ears!
As a proud anglophile, I love PBS and BBC -- so when there isn't anything on TV that feeds this need of mine, I start to search the classics.
Not counting Silas Marner, (which I read in middle school), this was my first George Eliot novel. It is a fascinating glimpse into rural village life in Victorian England, and as performed by Kate Reading, it is a treasure. All the characters are so well written that I had no difficulty seeing them in my minds eye. It's become a once a year re-read.
BTW, the last time this book got the mini series treatment was 1994. Hey BBC, it's time for an update!
I fail to see how this book got such rave reviews. I cannot get into it, though I have tried. It is hopeless drivel. I love this narrator but sorry she wasted her breathe on this one. If I could give it a zero rating I would.
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