Regular price: $39.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
In Cart

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 Ratings


  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Jennifer
  • University City, MO, USA
  • 06-21-06

Engrossing, non-stuffy entertainment!

I was looking for something to take me through a VERY long car trip, and I admit I was a little skeptical given the length of the book and that it was a "classic," but I can see why this style of novel was so popular in the days before TV. This collection of characters from a small town in England are distinct and throughly entertaining. The storytelling was so good that I found myself looking forward to getting in the car again to find out what happened next. The narrator is wonderful-- much better than I thought she would be given the price and the size of the book. I read Middlemarch in high school, and didn't enjoy it nearly as much. I highly recommend giving this a try!

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Janet
  • Point Arena, CA, USA
  • 04-17-09

Affectionate and undeceived

Kate Reading is a perfect narrator of George Eliot's classic leisurely novel. Eliot draws her characters in full, protagonists' and antagonists' strengths and flaws noted in affectionate and undeceived clarity, her brilliant wit dry but not cruel. This is not a novel to skim for the action; the joy is in the language, the turns of phrase, the subtle discoveries. Listening to Kate Reading narrate the story is like visiting a brilliant worldly woman who shares her observations, delightful details occurring to her as she speaks.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mitchel
  • Swampscott, MA, United States
  • 04-06-08

I had no idea

I had no idea this was such a wonderful book. It's long been on my list of "should read but have no intention of reading."

It's a tremendously wise and funny soap opera, as well as a fascinating look into an interesting time of transition in England, and I listened to it all over again the moment I finished it. The reader did an excellent job at suggesting the personality of the main characters without over-acting (always my preference), yet having some fun with some of the odder side characters.
I can see why this has been such an important book.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kyle
  • Falls Church, VA, USA
  • 08-17-07

Excellent listen

I read comments primarily for insights on the quality of the narration, and I can confirm that the reading of this very enjoyable novel is excellent.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Yes, probably the finest English novel ever. I wanted it to go on and on. Eliot created a profoundly romantic love story and several compelling sub-plots set in her fictitious English village populated with intriguing characters and rich details of life in Georgian England. It is beautifully read.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James C.
  • San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
  • 08-19-09


I loved both the book and the reader, Kate Reading. This may be my favorite book so far on Audible. The writing tends toward the intelligent, concise and wise, but then there are those inscrutable parts I could never discern. It's moving too, now that's different for me, to care so much about characters. Dorothea is a gem for all time. What a wonderful, wonderful book this is. I want to get more George Eliot and more books by Kate Reading.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lynn
  • New Haven, CT, USA
  • 02-18-10

poor Wendy

Well, God help poor Wendy. This is a brilliant reading of one of the greatest works of fiction in the English language. In fact, I have regretted that Ms. Reading hasn't recorded more of the works of great writers, such as this one, and fewer of the middling popular fiction titles that are on her list. She has a tremendous gift, apparently is a gifted actress under a different name, and her talent for creating characters shows as she brings to life an entire village of characters in Middlemarch. I read this book every decade or so -- and I'm hard put to it to say which experience, reading or listening, is more thrilling when the recording is as good as this one is. I wish Ms. Reading would read all of the works of Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope, and I would love to hear her reading of Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marbon
  • Smithfield Va
  • 08-15-07

Wonderful classic

After listening through Dickens and Austen, among other British writers, George Elliot rates among the best with wonderful dialogue and storytelling. The reader is excellent.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Absolutely Brilliant! I was totally engrossed the entire 31 hours, barely able to tear myself away. George Eliot's writing is unbelievable, and Kate Redding does it total justice. Buy this book! You won't regret it.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Diane
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 12-09-12


It is for good reason modern authors such as Julian Barnes and Martin Amis have cited Middlemarch as probably the greatest novel in the English language. George Eliot's (pen name of Mary Anne Evans) penetrating insight into the innermost workings of the human character, in all its variety, is nothing short of breathtaking.

The setting of a small town in early 19th century England and the people populating it is quite ordinary but it is the genius of Eliot that we come to see that "ordinary" people are anything but. From the wonderful Dorothea, a young woman yearning "to do something important" with her life, to Mr. Casaubon, a pedantic scholar who grows increasingly embittered and fearful as he begins to suspect the meaninglessness of his life's work, we are granted access to the secret heart of each character, with all its hopes, nobility, delusions, pettiness and frustrations. Add to this Eliot's generous sense of humor and you have a truly extraordinary book--one of the very few I consider worth repeated readings.

The novel may begin a bit slowly for some readers, but perseverance will be richly rewarded. Kate Reading's narration is a masterpiece in itself.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful