MiddlemarcheBook - 1994
Middlemarch is George Eliot's masterpiece, a Victorian novel on the grandest scale. Originally published in serial form in Blackwood's Magazine in 1871-1872, it was at once a critical and popular success. 'No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative,' V. S. Pritchett noted. Set in a fictional Midlands town, the novel chronicles nineteenth-century English provincial life through its precisely delineated characters, weaving many stories into one richly textured tapestry. Eliot renders her vast cast with cool irony and intelligence: Dorothea Brooke, the 'latter-day St. Theresa,' intense, impassioned, and frustrated; Tertius Lydgate, the idealistic young doctor who comes to Middlemarch fired with the desire to spread the new science of medicine; Fred Vincy and his spoiled, pretentious sister Rosamond; Casaubon, Dorothea's elderly husband, for whom she feels at first awe and finally pity; and the many lesser characters who people this epic in a small landscape. Unsurpassed in its depiction of human nature, Middlemarch is one of the great works of world literature.
Baker & Taylor
Displays George Eliot's imaginative understanding and intelligent perception of Victorian provincial life through her subtle portrayal of middle class characters
From the critics
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Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.
For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
For in the multitude of middle-aged men who go about their vocations in a daily course determined for them much in the same way as the tie of their cravats, there is always a good number who once meant to shape their own deeds and alter the world a little. The story of their coming to be shapen after the average and fit to be packed by the gross is hardly ever told even in their consciousness; for perhaps their ardour in generous unpaid toil cooled as imperceptibly as the ardour of other youthful loves, till one day their earlier self walked like a ghost in its old home and made the new furniture ghastly.
She herself was accustomed to think that entire freedom from the necessity of behaving agreeably was included in the Almighty’s intentions about families.
It is a little too trying to human flesh to be conscious of expressing one’s self better than others and never to have it noticed.
The effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
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