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Middlemarch Audiobook

Middlemarch

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Publisher's Summary

Middlemarch is a recognized masterpiece that explores the complex social world of 19th century England. It is concerned with the lives of several ordinary people, albeit ones with high social standing. The novel explores the very fabric of Victorian society in the 1800s, showing how various human passions, heroism, egotism, love, and lust, interrelate within this society.

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.

(P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (664 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tanya J. Williams 05-09-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Book was great"

    Audible version skipped a lot. I think it was the software. made listening unpleasant. Not pleased.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 10-05-16
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 10-05-16 Member Since 2015
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    " a somewhat difficult.and long listen ."

    worth the effort. remarkable depth, insight and a cast of great characters brought to life amazingly well by Kate reading. this books ability to emerce you in the time period makes for a particularly wonderful experience. It took me a very long time to finish but having mastered the language and experienced what.this book.offers I'm sure to revisit the remarkable Vista this masterwork has created in my brain often. amazing time travel experience beyond all the other atributes this unforgettable work has to offer

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. 02-24-16
    J.B. 02-24-16
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    "Elliot at Her Best On the Institution of Marriage"

    Middlemarch by George Eliot, in its original edition was subtitled, “A Study of Provincial Life.”

    The story has many sub-stories, which all bind together to create a village of personalities. Then the great George Eliot goes to work intermixing these personalities. This novel examines personalities and the interrelationship between personalities. After the opening story of our heroine Dorothea, it quickly adds a dozen different personalities and their intermixing in the Middlemarch society. This is very much a daytime soap opera. But one with brilliant display of the English language by a master; Ms. Eliot. This book is a perfect example of Romantic era’s ability to consider life with flowering words and a psychological understanding par excellence. It enraptures.

    As to the overall plot, each of these dozen or so personal stories all get intermixed into a discombobulation. . . . And being a Romantic novel -- all gest sorted out somewhat satisfactorily in the end with a little tragedy here and a little happiness there. A most wonderful read!

    In its primordial story we are confronted with the coming into being of a mid-nineteenth century marriage, between a good looking young woman and an older Ichabod Crane type man. It is the story of a bride to be, our Dorothea, and her family’s individual desires for her, which are distinct from her own. Dorothea, is going into a marriage that seems to be a monumental error for herself. Will this irregular relationship be in error? Dorothea is a woman with a thirst for knowledge, without the capacity to obtain that knowledge and a wrongful belief that as a woman she needs an educated man to guide her. Educated she gets, but much less than a man; and certainly not a lover.

    Middlemarch concerns the status of woman and the institution of marriage; at least as such was discerned by our late nineteenth century author, Ms. George Eliot. Yet, all her considerations continue to hold true for us today.

    The status of women and their position in marriage in the Victorian age is but one of the societal norms examined by Ms. Eliot. As in all Romantic Era novels the Depicted Lives must cover many topics. Ms. Eliot does that giving us much to consider about religion, hypocrisy, political reform, and education, as well as the virtues and vices of marriage. All these elements are sorted through in the dialogues between the characters.

    This text is rich with much to consider. For example, and in addition to the above topics, Ms. Eliot discusses the various manners of becoming a medical doctor in the 1830s, how those systems have produced quackeries and how the charlatanisms make their way by prescribing and selling far too many preparations (i.e., prescriptions). We also have a full study into jealously, and how it creates the evil that was feared by the jealous, but that would not have come into being but for the jealousy.

    The book is a comment on societal shortcomings. Many continuing into our present societies.

    Be aware though. Ms. Eliot takes us on a biography of many of her characters, and we learn of their deep passions for success in their life long endeavors. Yet, for most of her characters there will be no success and in fact delusion. She does though very precisely explain what societal ill or personal fragility caused these failings in life. Thus, Middlemarch is a great book to do self-analysis thought.

    Kate Reading did a magnificent job for 93% of the work. A Great listen, but on the subject of people speaking in anger and her chosen voice for two of the male actors was a disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie 06-22-15
    Melanie 06-22-15
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    "Favorite Book Of All Time!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Love this book so much. Would definitely recommend and have before.


    What other book might you compare Middlemarch to and why?

    Nothing really...


    Any additional comments?

    I re-read this book every few years because my interpretation of it has varied in every stage of my life. A fantastic layered story - highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elin VanDoren 04-08-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Great reading, great book."
    Would you listen to Middlemarch again? Why?

    George Eliot creates a whole world that is now completely real to me. I'd like to spend time with these characters again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris pottstown, PA, United States 07-15-13
    chris pottstown, PA, United States 07-15-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Listened to it 3 Times in a Row!!"
    What made the experience of listening to Middlemarch the most enjoyable?

    The writing! Her sentences are crafted! Brilliantly crafted!! and hearing them was the only way to truly digest the richness.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The craftsmanship of the story that capture the cultures, classes and overlapping dynamics.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no, wanted to, and did, savour it over and over again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn 07-06-13
    Marilyn 07-06-13
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    "Disappointed by reader"
    Would you try another book from George Eliot and/or Kate Reading?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Boise, ID, United States 02-20-13
    Susan Boise, ID, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Masterpiece"

    Of course, this is a must. Read this first in a university class Women in Literature. There is everything right about this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 07-24-12
    Michael 07-24-12 Member Since 2017
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    "a classic disappointment"
    What would have made Middlemarch better?

    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.


    Has Middlemarch turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Absolutely.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Reading’s performances?

    Perhaps.


    What character would you cut from Middlemarch?

    George Eliot (the author)


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Great Falls, VA, USA 08-28-08
    Jerry Great Falls, VA, USA 08-28-08 Member Since 2011
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    "Unknown Saint"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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