The Mill On The Floss

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The Mill On The Floss

by George Eliot

January 1, 2011 | Trade Paperback

The Mill On The Floss is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 2.
Maggie and Tom Tulliver are both willful, passionate children, and their relationship has always been tempestuous. As they grow up together on the banks of the River Floss, Tom's self-righteous stubbornness and Maggie's emotional intensity increasingly bring them into conflict, particularly when Maggie's beauty sparks some ill-fated attachments. George Eliot's story of a brother and sister bound together by their errors and affections is told with tenderness, energy and a profound understanding of human nature.

A wide plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace. On this mighty tide the black ships—laden with the fresh-scented fir-planks, with rounded sacks of oil-bearing seed, or with the dark glitter of coal—are borne along to the town of St. Ogg’s, which shows its aged, fluted red roofs and the broad gables of its wharves between the low wooded hill and the river brink, tinging the water with a soft purple hue under the transient glance of this February sun. Far away on each hand stretch the rich pastures, and the patches of dark earth, made ready for the seed of broad-leaved green crops, or touched already with the tint of the tender-bladed autumn-sown corn. There is a remnant still of the last year’s golden clusters of beehive ricks rising at intervals beyond the hedgerows; and everywhere the hedgerows are studded with trees: the distant ships seem to be lifting their masts and stretching their red-brown sails close among the branches of the spreading ash. Just by the red-roofed town the tributary Ripple flows with a lively current into the Floss. How lovely the little river is, with its dark, changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander along the bank and listen to its low placid voice, as to the voice of one who is deaf and loving. I remember those large dipping willows. I remember the stone bridge.

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: January 1, 2011

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307291901

ISBN - 13: 9780307291905

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from can be boring Maggie Tulliver, who is age seven when the story opens, lives at Dorlcote Mill on the River Ripple at its junction with the River Floss near the village of St. Ogg’s in England, with her father, who owns the mill, mother, and older brother Tom. The novel spans a period of ten to fifteen years, beginning with Tom’s and Maggie’s childhood and including her father’s ongoing battles with a lawyer named Wakem, the Tullivers’ consequent bankruptcy resulting in the loss of the mill, and Mr. Tulliver’s untimely death. Tom has been in school with Philip Wakem, the lawyer’s hunchbacked, sensitive, and intellectual son, and Maggie has grown fond of Philip, seeing him secretly. To help repay his father’s debts, Tom leaves his schooling to enter a life of business, but in his hatred of the Wakems, he forbids Maggie’s seeing Philip, and she languishes in the impoverished Tulliver home, renouncing the world after reading Thomas à Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ. Some years later, Tom has been successful and able to restore the family’s former estate. Lucy has been away teaching school but returns to visit with her cousin, Lucy Deane. Her acquaintance with Philip is renewed and he still loves her, but Stephen Guest, a young socialite in St. Ogg's who is Lucy’s fiancé, is also attracted to her. Maggie enjoys the clandestine attentions of Stephen, but when he substitutes for the sick Philip in taking her on a boat ride and proposes that they stop in Mudport, and get married, she rejects him and makes her way back to St. Ogg's, where, rejected by her brother Tom and almost everyone else except her mother, Tom’s friend Bob Jakin and his family, in whose home she takes lodgings, and the minister, Dr. Kenn, who engages her as governess for his children, she lives for a brief period as an outcast, though she does reconcile with both Philip and Lucy. When the flood comes, Maggie sets out in one of Bob’s boats to rescue Tom, and together they head to rescue Lucy, but their boat capsizes and the two drown in an embrace, thus giving the book its Biblical subtitle, “In their death they were not divided.” I have always liked Eliot’s Silas Marner because it is, in the final analysis, a tale of redemption. However, The Mill on the Floss is not primarily a tale of redemption. In fact, the book is somewhat autobiographical in that it reflects the disgrace that the author herself felt while involved in a lengthy relationship with a married man, George Henry Lewes, although there are differences. No actual immorality is portrayed in the book, and towards the end, Maggie does make the right choice. There are a little bad language and some references to drinking alcohol, using tobacco, and dancing. Biblical quotations and allusions abound throughout, but I am not sure that the book represents a truly Biblical worldview. A certain degree of fatalistic determinism is at play throughout the novel—in fact, on one occasion Maggie says, “Our life is determined for us”—although Maggie’s ultimate choice not to marry Stephen demonstrates a final triumph of free will. Some latent feminism also occurs in that the cultural norms of her community seem to deny Maggie her intellectual and spiritual growth. Many of Eliot’s observations about the nature of people and society are interesting, with some of which you may agree and others you may not, but occasionally her social commentary goes on and on to the point of becoming boring. Like The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, in the right hands The Mill on the Floss could be used to teach a good lesson on not being judgmental, but due to the “titillating” nature of the story I would recommend that it not be inflicted on anyone under age eighteen.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from recommended classic George Elliot makes excellent commentary on her society through evokative imagery, wonderfully drawn characters and descriptive setting. Slow your brain and give it a good read...
Date published: 2013-10-29

– More About This Product –

The Mill On The Floss

by George Eliot

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: January 1, 2011

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307291901

ISBN - 13: 9780307291905

From the Publisher

Maggie and Tom Tulliver are both willful, passionate children, and their relationship has always been tempestuous. As they grow up together on the banks of the River Floss, Tom's self-righteous stubbornness and Maggie's emotional intensity increasingly bring them into conflict, particularly when Maggie's beauty sparks some ill-fated attachments. George Eliot's story of a brother and sister bound together by their errors and affections is told with tenderness, energy and a profound understanding of human nature.

A wide plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace. On this mighty tide the black ships—laden with the fresh-scented fir-planks, with rounded sacks of oil-bearing seed, or with the dark glitter of coal—are borne along to the town of St. Ogg’s, which shows its aged, fluted red roofs and the broad gables of its wharves between the low wooded hill and the river brink, tinging the water with a soft purple hue under the transient glance of this February sun. Far away on each hand stretch the rich pastures, and the patches of dark earth, made ready for the seed of broad-leaved green crops, or touched already with the tint of the tender-bladed autumn-sown corn. There is a remnant still of the last year’s golden clusters of beehive ricks rising at intervals beyond the hedgerows; and everywhere the hedgerows are studded with trees: the distant ships seem to be lifting their masts and stretching their red-brown sails close among the branches of the spreading ash. Just by the red-roofed town the tributary Ripple flows with a lively current into the Floss. How lovely the little river is, with its dark, changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander along the bank and listen to its low placid voice, as to the voice of one who is deaf and loving. I remember those large dipping willows. I remember the stone bridge.

From the Jacket

One of George Eliot's best-loved works, The Mill on the Floss is a brilliant portrait of the bonds of provincial life as seen through the eyes of the free-spirited Maggie Tulliver, who is torn between a code of moral responsibility and her hunger for self-fulfillment. Rebellious by nature, she causes friction both among the townspeople of St. Ogg's and in her own family, particularly with her brother, Tom. Maggie's passionate nature makes her a beloved heroine, but it is also her undoing. The Mill on the Floss is a luminous exploration of human relationships and of a heroine who critics say closely resembles Eliot herself.

About the Author

Mary Ann Evans was born on November 22, 1819, at Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, England, the last child of an estate agent. During her girlhood, she went through a phase of evangelical piety, but her strong interest in philosophy and her friendship with religious freethinkers led to a break with orthodox religion. When one of these friends married in 1843, Mary Ann took over from his wife the task of translating D.F. Strauss’s The Life of Jesus Critically Examined (1846), a work that had deep effect on English rationalism. After her father’s death she settled in London and from 1851 to 1854 she served as a writer and editor of the Westminster Review, the organ of the Radical party. In London she met she met George Henry Lewes, a journalist and advanced thinker. Lewes was separated from his wife, who had had two sons by another man, but had been unable to obtain a divorce. In a step daring for Victorian times, Mary Ann Evans began living openly with Lewes in 1854, in a union they both considered as sacred as a legal marriage and one that lasted until his death in 1878. With Lewes’s encouragement, Mary Ann Evans wrote her first fictional work, “The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton,” for Blackwood’s Magazine in 1857; it was followed by two more stories published under the pseudonym George Elliot–“George” because it was Lewes’s name and “Eliot” because, she said, it was good mouth-filling, easily pronounced word.” At the age of thirty-nine she used her memories of Warwicks
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