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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

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (960 )
5 star
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4.4 (826 )
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Story
4.6 (838 )
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Performance
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  •  
    F. Stuart Leeds Yellow Springs, OH 06-19-15
    F. Stuart Leeds Yellow Springs, OH 06-19-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    10
    6
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    Story
    "Marvelous in every way"

    Victorian sagas are not exactly my genre of choice. But this story utterly captured my imagination - because it's a masterpiece, I suppose, and in equal measure because of Juliet Stevenson's astonishing performance of it. Her command of the characters, and of their regional accents and mannerisms will make you forget, over and over, that you're listening to a single narrator. This is more than an audio book - it's a life experience!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Caldwell Tucson, Arizona, US 06-18-15
    Jay Caldwell Tucson, Arizona, US 06-18-15 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Speed in a busy world"

    You can listen to this quite easily at 1.5x (I regret no possibility for 1.75x), then when there are extended conversations, especially amongst townspeople, back it down to 1x. 1.5-1.75x is an appropriate silent reading pace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Linda W. Bailey 06-12-15 Member Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    2
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    Story
    "Wonderful story and language"

    Did we ever really talk like this? Beautiful language requiring full concentration. Touching stories of a difficult time in which to live. Well worth the investment in time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Booker, TX USA 05-12-15
    Amazon Customer Booker, TX USA 05-12-15 Member Since 2014

    rodeogem

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    "A classic you must read!"

    While the length may seem overwhelming at first, there is not a single superfluous word in the text. The characters are full and beautiful and flawed, and by the end of the book you will feel as if you are parting from the dearest of friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanya Dohoney 05-04-15 Member Since 2012
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    19
    4
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    "One of the best novels ever"

    Perfect! A classic that should be revisited with frequency. Re-read this after reading Sri Hustvedt's A Blazing World. Great contrast on women's issues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wang 04-28-15
    Wang 04-28-15
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    "A Classic that is Still Relevant"
    What made the experience of listening to Middlemarch the most enjoyable?

    Everything. The narrator was very good. This is the first time that I realize that a woman can do men's voice just as well as men, as long as she can master the intonation.

    Juliet Stevenson's narration was definitely enjoyable and I would like to download books narrated by her in the future.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story follows several plotlines. Every one of them is compelling and has a central protagonist that you care about.

    Most importantly, although this story was written a couple hundred years ago, the issues are still relevant today: financial independence, religion and conscience, charity and life goals, and love and courtship just to name a few.


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

    Fred Vincey was my favorite. He's a silly young man with a heart of gold and Stevenson really captured his essence.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra K. Heinzman Midlothian, VA USA 04-27-15
    Sandra K. Heinzman Midlothian, VA USA 04-27-15 Member Since 2011

    hearthome

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    6
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    "A wonderful classic!"

    The audio was perfect and I loved the story. Now I can't wait to watch the BBC miniseries on D
    VD!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin 04-10-15
    Kristin 04-10-15
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    "A truly great classic novel"

    This book is one of the best books written in the English language. The characters are complex and true. I will come back to this book in years to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sally schwartz 03-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "juliet stevenson is the best narrator"

    loved it, found it riveting, couldn't stop listening to juliet stevensob's beautiful perfornance of so many rich characters. she had every possible type of British accent, really superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannine Mobile, AL, United States 03-27-15
    Jeannine Mobile, AL, United States 03-27-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    "Middlemarch"

    Excellent book. All of it was good. I'll have to buy the hardcover book for my library. Great listening too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Renia
    Athens, Greece
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "A must listen audio book."

    I was recommended this audiobook by a good friend of mine. As a matter of fact this was my very first introduction to audiobooks. Middlemarch has always been one of my favourite book of British literature. As I am not native speaker, Juliet Stevenson's narration was a great lesson for me to improve my english accent and comprehension.

    An amazing book that kept me company while running, going to work and helped me relax and sleep at night.

    I highly recommend this book to all book lovers!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • LINDA CARTWRIGHT
    Auckland, New Zealand
    2/7/13
    Overall
    "What an achievement!"

    Juliet Stevenson is a great narrator. She has a fine sense of pace, superb diction and a way of altering her voice to suit each character so they are easy to distinguish, even when three or more characters are conversing. She has a reputation as a good reader, I know, and when her skill is combined with George Eliot's skill as a writer, this brings us a very fine package indeed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Dublin, Ireland
    2/5/13
    Overall
    "Middlemarch"

    I loved this book and Juliet Stevensen is a brilliant narrator, she brings the book to life and you feel you are hearing multiple characters portraying the story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Belinda
    Dublin, Ireland
    2/2/13
    Overall
    "Wonderful bliss."

    So beautifully read by Juliet Stevenson. Her use of voice bought the book alive and made listening a movinng and extraordinary experience. Thank you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D Hollingum
    Northampton UK
    1/1/13
    Overall
    "George Eliot's Genius"

    The opening chapters of this book are fairly off-putting. Dorothea is a prig, her sister Celia is tiresome, Casaubon is painful, but don't be discouraged. As the author gets into her stride the characters take on a depth that at times surpasses even Austen's characters. There are some very humourous moments and some of great pathos. The story doesn't ever crack on at a pace, but if you understand delayed gratification you will enjoy this book. Stevenson's ability to inhabit dozens of characters is wonderful, and although a few of the voices grate it is worth persevering. Rosamund Vincy is a tour de force, one of English literature's undiscovered female protagonists. Read this book, you won't regret it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michele
    Cranleigh, United Kingdom
    12/29/12
    Overall
    "Very slow"

    I know this is a classic and things passed by more slowly but deary me. Sorry I couldn't finish it, the reading however is very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    12/27/12
    Overall
    "An Indisputable Classic"

    I recently heard a culture critic claiming that Middlemarch is "irrelevant". He may as well have said that about Shakespeare. No matter how much we might want to think otherwise, certain works of literature never lose their relevance, and continue to speak to all human experience.

    Whether it is the story of Dorothea Brook falling in love with the first intellectual man she ever meets, Fred Vincy blaming the world for his own poor judgement, Nicholas Bullstrode using his piety as an excuse for his selfish concerns, or the heart-breaking self-sacrifice of the reverend Fairbrother, each character and their journey through the narrative of this immense work is a complete, recognisable human being. Their choices are often poor, but no different to the choices you or I might make in the same circumstance. Elliot masterfully (mistressfully?) plunges into themes of party politics, class, religion, money, science, art and technology with intelligence and empathy. And the stories will simply leave you breathless.

    Juliet Stevenson is a delight to listen to, and I suspect is a great lover of the book herself. This audiobook is an investment that will pay you dividends over a life-time, and perhaps for your children and grandchildren. My grandmother called this the greatest work in the English language, and I can't help but agree.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    PLYMOUTH, United Kingdom
    12/26/12
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    This is a book I have wanted to read for a long time but never seemed to get around to. This-my first audiobook-lived up to all my expectations.

    As well as being a fascinating commentary on changing social attitudes in the 1830's with matters such as the Reform Act and the beginning of the railways, it is also a study of character and everyday life. Add to this that it is remarkably witty and fun in places and you have a great novel.

    The icing on the cake is the narration of Juliet Stevenson which is simply superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    aylesbury, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "long march"

    this book was good, although quite long. im very glad i got it on audible to listen to in the car rather than to read beacause its would have taken me too long to read to have enjoyed it. It took a little while to get into the story and there are many characteres to get to grips with but once your into it it is very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carol
    Ashhurst, New Zealand
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Enjoyable"

    An enjoyable classic read by a more than competent narrator, Juliet Stevenson. I would happily listen to more books read by her. I enjoy unabridged classics but even I found some of the wordiness of Middlemarch somewhat tiring (and I wanted to slap Rosamund Vincy). Be prepared for a long listen. I wouldn't recommend it to a 'newbie' to the classics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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