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Middlemarch | [George Eliot]

Middlemarch

Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.
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Publisher's Summary

Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.

Dorothea Brooke is an outstanding heroine; Middlemarch is filled with characters that are vivid and true, comic and moving. It is one of the greatest novels in the English language.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain (P)2011 Naxos AudioBooks

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Lisa Johannesburg, South Africa 11-14-11
    Lisa Johannesburg, South Africa 11-14-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "George and Juliet - the magic of Middlemarch"

    My first exposure to Middlemarch was as a teenager when my older brother read it to me. He was studying it at University and I was still in school. I loved it and the book became one of my favourite books after Pride and Prejudice.

    Then I watched the BBC serialisation of Middlemarch when I was a bit older and it meant more to me and I loved that too.

    But the Juliet Stevenson version is quite simply the one that was meant by George Eliot. It is masterpiece. I will treasure it for ever. The fact that one single human being can interpret the nuances of tone and texture of so many personas is remarkable. I am not sure who is the more remarkable artist; George Eliot or Juliet Stevenson. I fell in love with Juliet Stevenson when I happened upon a small English movie called something like deeply madly and I knew she was a star.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Marietta, GA, United States 11-02-11
    Michele Marietta, GA, United States 11-02-11 Listener Since 2008
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    "Wonderful rendition of a great novel"

    The narration of this classic novel was so wonderful. Juliet Stevenson is a great character actress and she plays all of the myriad large and small roles to perfection here. This is one of the greatest novels in the English language, and she does it justice. Brilliant!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    frank CABANATUAN, Philippines 02-05-13
    frank CABANATUAN, Philippines 02-05-13 Member Since 2012

    Frank_Clyde

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    "Wish I Had Audible at School (45 years ago)"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I have already recommended it to my sister, who like myself has now gone soft and is an avid reader (whilst I prefer to listen due to to much time on PC at work).
    I have 300+ books in my collection and love to safe 5 STAR Books in my "Audible Bank" to listen too when making my 12 hour journey back home from my work in Saudi Arabia.
    I have just finished Middlemarch, and it is one of my prized assets in my "AB", and it will always be on my IPod to listen to again whilst stuck in the Airport.
    I checked out Middlemarch on Wiki and could agree with:
    “Virginia Woolf gave the book unstinting praise, describing Middlemarch as "the magnificent book that, with all its imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people."[4] Martin Amis and Julian Barnes have cited it as probably the greatest novel in the English language”.
    George Eliot’s prose is just fantastic and I marvel how she could use such language, which along with the superb narration by Juliet Stevenson made this an outstanding listen for me.



    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are so many prominent characters in the book, (and on my first listen I just soaked upt the quality of the language and the narration), that I don't have a favourite character yet. Maybe I will when I listen to it again.

    What I liked is the number of characters, the insight into their virtues, weaknesses, flaws, and how the landed gentry interacted with each other.


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

    No, but I will certainly do what I do some of my other favourite 5 Star Listens (books I wait 5 mins in the car before going to the office and have marked down to read again), I will check out Books with the same narrator. This is what I like about Audible, the narrator can really make the book come to life.


    Who was the most memorable character of Middlemarch and why?

    The difference between this and the preceding Question is too subtle for me !!


    Any additional comments?

    My collection of Auible Books, which is very eclectic (Espionage, History, Thriller, Young Adult,Comedy, Biography, Military), is my one vice, and I am always happy to find a Gem like Middlemarch.

    I have bought a number of Classic Books from Audible, and so far Middlemarch has been both the best and most enjoyable for me.


    Middlemarch is somewhere near my all time favourites:

    Tinker, Taylor Soldier Spy
    Nobel House
    Open (Andre Agassi)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Auckland, New Zealand 09-20-12
    Mike Auckland, New Zealand 09-20-12
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    "Masterpiece of English literature read perfectly"

    Never cease to be amazed and enamored with Juliet Stevenson's reading...and with such exquisitely crafted prose it brought tears to my eyes during even the most mundane parts of the story. Not the most quest-filled adventure of all time to say the least, more of a dramatic slice of life, but it did have a beginning, middle and end that were most enjoyable ;-)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Seattle, WA, United States 07-01-12
    Diane Seattle, WA, United States 07-01-12 Member Since 2015
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    "19th century masterpiece read by a superb actress"

    I read Middlemarch for the first time twenty-five years ago. I remember the first 100 pages were a bit of a slog, but after that I was hooked. Since then I have read it again twice and listened to it twice. Juliet Stevenson is the only reader I have ever heard whose performance adds, rather than takes away from, the profound insights expressed by the omnipotent narrator into the minds of her characters and the vivid portrayal of time and place, (1830's England). To quote Virginia Woolf, Middlemarch is "the magnificent book that, with all its imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people."

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Stern Cleveland, OH 03-21-12
    E. Stern Cleveland, OH 03-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Best Ever, and I mean EVER"
    If you could sum up Middlemarch in three words, what would they be?

    Exquisite x 3


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is wonderful, multi-layered, intriguing. But what's best is the writing and the observations on human nature and instinct. Completely on-target, relevant in today's world, profoundly insightful and sophisticated. I wanted to quote this book all the time.


    Which character ??? as performed by Juliet Stevenson ??? was your favorite?

    I'd have to say Mr. Brooks and Rosamund were brilliantly captured as comic roles.


    Who was the most memorable character of Middlemarch and why?

    Of course, the hero, Dorothea. A thoroughly modern woman; intellectually and emotionally open and generous.


    Any additional comments?

    I resisted reading this all my life because it

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harvey Smallman San Diego, CA 01-03-15
    Harvey Smallman San Diego, CA 01-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Stretching story, wonderfully realized"

    Cannot speak highly enough of this extensive story, nor Juliet's reading. Indelible characters (and lots of them!). I saw this more as an exercise in applied philosophy than a novel. Moral dilemmas and human frailty are played out brilliantly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 05-25-13
    Pamela 05-25-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Still relevant in so many ways."

    Sometimes a book can have a stronger impact on a reader because of where that reader happens to be in their life at the time that they read it. Had I read 'Middlemarch' when I was younger, I don't think I would have been as moved. I love a writer who creates complex characters who are forced to choose between following their own innate sense of right and wrong or live their lives bound by the demands of societal/religious dogma. The fact that Ms. Evans had to write under the pen name George Eliot because she was considered "too intellectual" speaks volumes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David E. Gregson San Diego, CA USA 10-29-12
    David E. Gregson San Diego, CA USA 10-29-12 Member Since 2014
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    "An essential Victorian novel, superbly read."
    What made the experience of listening to Middlemarch the most enjoyable?

    George Eliot must be one of the most gorgeous prose stylists who ever wrote in English. Her psychological insights are astounding. But just looking at the many pages and the small print in the book itself is daunting -- so it's lovely to have it read to you by a first-rate reader.


    What other book might you compare Middlemarch to and why?

    I think the brilliant novels of Edith Wharton -- especially "The House of Mirth." But, because of the complex double- and triple-plotting, something by Dickens is probably the closest match. To me Eliot is superior to Dickens.


    Which character – as performed by Juliet Stevenson – was your favorite?

    Stevenson is a superb reader, but I think her male voices are a bit exaggerated and often do not fit my visual image of the characters. Her female voices (surprise!) are the most effective. This temptation of readers to "act" everything out is often more of a distraction than an asset.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The entire saga of Dorothea Casaubon is a moving feminist statement, but Eliot carefully balances this with the saga of the young doctor, Tertius Lydgate. The plotting is amazingly good.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the great books in English. Belongs on a Top Ten list.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia United States 09-26-12
    Virginia United States 09-26-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Speechless"

    Not only is the book totally amazing ... the story ... the characters ... life lessons ..etc
    everything about Elliot's novels is just fantastic ... the narrator is without a doubt the best there is ... many times throughout my listen i even forgot that it was a single narrator ... Juliet stevenson is so talanted ... so passionate and just plain FANTASTIC

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 78 results PREVIOUS1238NEXT
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  • Pat
    Torquay, United Kingdom
    10/9/11
    Overall
    "Middlemarch read by Juliet Stevenson"

    This is one of my favourite novels and is now one of my favourite Audibles. I really didn't want it to end and actually went back to the beginning again for a while. Juliet Stevenson' s reading, for me, was perfect. She caught all the characters beautifully and the pace was just right. Listening to this made me want to hear other books read by her. I shall be listening to this again too.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • KathrynS
    Beijing, China
    1/9/15
    Overall
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    "One of the most brilliant books I've ever re-read"

    One of my favourite books of all time, and another wonderful performance by Juliet Stevenson. Highly recommended to all readers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie
    11/17/14
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    "4.75 stars for story"

    Glad I listened, Juliet Stevenson reads beautifully. It's a classic tale of thwarted love coming right and all the heartbreak and decision making in between. There are some great characters, and well observed understanding of human behaviour.
    Had to stop myself using words and sentence structure that I managed to absorb while listening to it though, I went all Eliot/Austen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Molly
    10/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long-winded and pretentious"
    What did you like best about Middlemarch? What did you like least?

    I liked some of the characters but disliked the endless musings


    Would you be willing to try another book from George Eliot? Why or why not?

    No, I know she is highly thought of but I found it pretentious


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Juliet Stevenson is a wonderful narrator, I felt her struggle with some of the Italian and French preambles to each chapter but they could have been left out in my opinion as they added nothing.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    No


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • P A WRIGHT
    10/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What amazing insight into the human condition."
    Would you listen to Middlemarch again? Why?

    Yes, as it is such a rich story and I probably missed some of this in hurrying to get to the end


    What did you like best about this story?

    Eliot's ability to show each character from their own authentic view. I also was impressed at the building and interweaving of all the characters into an overall plot that was believable and rich indepth.


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but think she is a great narrator


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Harold's Cross, Ireland
    8/25/14
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    Performance
    Story
    "Best Victorian Novel."
    What made the experience of listening to Middlemarch the most enjoyable?

    The writing was beautiful and the narration was wonderful. What kept me most enthralled though was the ability of the author to deal with the essential human condition in its many diverse manifestations in a way that transcended the time in which it was written.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The novel was realistic and honest and not just 'happy ever after'. I loved Eliot's philosophical reflections on what was happening in the text.


    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    Stevenson's range of voices was excellent.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    'There are so many way to be in the world - dare to be different'.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. I downloaded a character chart of the relationships which was very useful to keep track of who's who.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J. Roadnight
    UK
    7/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Juliet Stevenson is extraordinary"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've known and loved the book for years, so no surprises there. But the narration by Juliet Stevenson is just amazing - the range of accents, the different voices for various characters and her beautifully modulated delivery of the narrative blew me away. What an exceptional talent. I sometimes wonder what actors are paid so much for: now I know.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer
    beara. co.corkIreland
    7/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Is this the best novel ever written?"

    I have read it and loved it over the years. Wonderful performance by Juliet Stephenson. It is long but well worth the effort.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • JMH13
    7/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best"
    Where does Middlemarch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best audiobook I've listened too. By far. Beautiful reading of a fabulous novel.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Middlemarch?

    The downfall of Bulstrode and with him, Dr Lydgate


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I'd buy audiobooks just because Juliet Stephenson was a narrator. 84 Charing Cross Road being one example. But this was an outstanding reading of what can be dense text.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A very special story of a very ordinary town


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    7/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic soap opera"
    What would have made Middlemarch better?

    For the women characters to be stronger and more assertive. Dorothea was clearly an intelligent woman but she just gave in all the time to the men around her. I liked Mary much better. She knew what she wanted, said so and in the end got her way.


    What will your next listen be?

    Return of the Native b Thomas Hardy


    Which character – as performed by Juliet Stevenson – was your favourite?

    Juliet Stevenson gave all the characters individuality and she was my favourite thing about this book. The bumbling, stuttering uncle was the best.


    Any additional comments?

    A host of characters all with different stories, which to me appeared to be like a period soap opera.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 64 results PREVIOUS1237NEXT

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