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.
Public Domain (P)2011 Naxos AudioBooks
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
True love hurts.
Dorothea Brooke Casaubon. She really grows on you. When the story begins you think "what a little nun" but after all she goes through you really want her life to turn out well. She chooses an older religious man because she wants to help him with his work. However, Mr. Casaubon is so selfish and unworthy of her love that he twists everything she does into something false and shameful. It's very painful to listen to.
As the story goes on Dorothea changes into a strong and vibrant woman that everyone respects. A true heroine!
I think my favorite scene was when Dorothea goes to talk to Rosamund Lydgate again and explain to her how much faith she has in her husband's skills as a doctor. Rosamund, unfortunately is so selfish and silly that poor Dr. Lydgate has to give up his dream of scientific discovery in order to make money so his vain wife will be happy. But the scene with Dorothea was wonderful.
So many characters in this book were so filled out. My favorite couple in the book was Mary Garth and Fred Vincy. I am so happy they end up together.
This is one my favorite books now! I have never read any George Eliot before, but I will be sure to read more now! Highly recommended!
Beautiful, rich prose. Shows off the English culture, customs of the era and provincial life in depth. However, as my conscious mind does appreciate George Eliot's work and the contribution to the English literature, the work itself did not evoke feelings in me (its characters or plot did not impress on my soul).
The novel missed something... A certain passion, something that connected you to the characters. I almost disliked Dorothea and her beloved. There was not enough fire in them. And they were both so stuck in their own political, social, matrimonial ideologies that it took away from me, as a reader, the pleasure of connecting and experiencing their love alongside them. The same goes for Fred and Mary.
I'm glad I got to read a George Eliot work but I don't think I'll be re-reading this work or any other work by her.
i will be listening to Middlemarch many, many times, because (1) i love the story and characters, and (2) i love Juliet Stevenson's narration.
i cannot compare Middlemarch to any other book i have yet heard on audible.com; it sets the bar very, very high.
to tell the truth, i'm nuts about the very last paragraph -- unhistoric acts and unvisited tombs.
How To -- and How Not To -- Live Life
i've read, and seen the BBC miniseries, a bunch of times, but this is the first time that i laughed as much as i did. the author's sardonic wit and sly humor came through in Ms. Stevenson's voices, accents, and narration as a whole. i was delighted entirely.
Eliot's brilliant character insights weave an enthralling tale.
Fred was my favorite character. His obvious flaws made him vulnerable to oblivion,but his capacity for love of Mary and his sense of honor lead him to a fitting end. Then again Featherstone, too, was a man of great depth and kindness. His flaws were also apparent but never as a foil to his genuine virtue. Eliot's characters ring true - to the core.
The conversation between Featherstone and Fred concerning Fred's return to the scene of his previous downfall was my favorite scene. In it my two favorite characters revealed their true essence to one another and to us.
The narration, too, is beautifully done. I'm listening for the second time!
This is an excellent treatise on human relationships. Juliet Stevenson's variety of voices and accents is simple amazing. I think that I'd listen to anything she read.
George Eliot would have definitely approved of this fluent inspired reading of her masterpiece. Kudos to two brilliant performances, the written word and it's marvelous voicing.
Such a wonderful job by the narrator! I'm sure I never would have been able to read the actual book, and I normally can't listen to audio books without having read the print ones. She brought so many distinct characters to life! Really a top quality job.
I wholeheartedly agree with the assessment of some critics that this is the book ever written in the English language. It is also absolutely the best audio performance I have ever had the privilege of listening to. SO we'll done!
"Rich and brilliantly sculpted"
I never expected to enjoy an author as much as Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope so had a wonderful surprise in this fabulous novel. The observations of character, the twists of the storyline, the suspense that goes on and on as you feel sure your favourite people are going to cave in to petty family or public opinion against them....all very good. Add to that Juliet Stevenson's excellent narration and you have 95 hours or so of pure delight.
"One of the best novels I have ever read"
After hearing Zoe Heller praising Middlemarch at the Hay Festival several years ago, I'm sorry that it took me so long to read (or rather, listen to) this wonderful novel. All human life is here, and her observations on vanity, idealism, avarice, loss and so much more are as just as relevant today as they were then.
"Worth the slog!"
A book I've tried to read and failed on many occasions. Even on Audible it was had going at times, but I can see exactly what people say it's of such literary significance. Beautifully detailed characters. Occasionally the reading just by one person and involving so many make characters made the attempts at their voices (by a female speaker) rather hard to follow by it was a Herculean effort by Juliet Stevenson
It is read so well by Juliet that even the ancient language becomes accessible. There are real insights in the text into personality that ring true with current thinking on psychology, and social comments that are bang up to date. And on top of that the story is gripping.
I think that if you like Jane Austin you will probably like this
I found it hard to turn off and found myself looking forward picking up the story again
"Really, very good."
I expected this to be a bit of a drag and felt it was something I "should" read. So I was surprised to find myself chuckling at the witty, sparkling, beautiful writing. It soon became clear why it was such a classic. The performance was fantastic. Juliet Stevenson just got every nuance and made it so accessible, I am sure that it was thanks to her performance that I found it so amusing and enjoyable.
Wonderful characters live and love through a few years in the life of rural Middlemarch in the 1830s England. This is an effortlessly drawn landscape written by an accomplished story teller, brought to life so vividly by a talented actress. This is hours of gentle listening. I loved it.
The passionate and deep Dorothea, who would have had such different life in our own times.
Her mastery of each character's voice makes the performance 3 dimensional
When Dorothea realizes her husband does not appreciate her
A drama of the times in 1830 but all the characters we can easily identify with. A human story at its best.
Life enriching, brilliant
The characters became best friends. I felt I knew them intimately.
Middlemarch is always on my 'must read' list. I've started it and got nowhere. Thanks to Juliet Stevenson and a few long car/train journeys and I was through it all too quickly. Juliet Stevenson was compelling listening. I'm sure George Eliot would have been delighted with how Juliet Stevenson portrayed her characters.
No. Better to savour it all over a few weeks bit by bit.
I'm early in my audio books career - this has given me so much pleasure, I'm now hungry for more.....particularly read by Juliet Stevenson!
Just a fantastic reading. Juliet Stevenson knows how to make all the characters come alive and manages the pace brilliantly.
"Brilliant reading of a complex tale"
Juliet stephe sons genius at reading a complex novel, in a variety of voices and accents
Mr Lydgate, so idealistic and so betrayed by life
"Sorry I'm not more enthusiastic..............."
Usually, I love a long Victorian novel. 'A tale of Two Cities' and 'North and South' have been two of my absolute favourite listens, and I had high hopes for Middlemarch. However, despite Juliet Stephenson's best efforts, I just couldn't get into this book. However, I found it difficult. The characters were not drawn in such a way that I cared about their lives and what happened to them, and I'm sorry to say that, for the first time with an audio book, I didn't finish it.
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