Middlemarch by George Eliot


byGeorge Eliot

Kobo ebook | November 27, 2011

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Who that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa, has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand–in–hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide–eyed and helpless–looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve. That child–pilgrimage was a fit beginning. Theresa's passionate, ideal nature demanded an epic life: what were many–volumed romances of chivalry and the social conquests of a brilliant girl to her? Her flame quickly burned up that light fuel; and, fed from within, soared after some illimitable satisfaction, some object which would never justify weariness, which would reconcile self–despair with the rapturous consciousness of life beyond self. She found her epos in the reform of a religious order
Title:MiddlemarchFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:November 27, 2011Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:2819920543

ISBN - 13:9782819920540

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting but LONG a very long read, but worth it. the writing can be difficult to read, as it was written in the 19th century (not a joke), but has the best narrative of all time and deals with various social and political issues that are still relevant. a classic. a 1000+ page classic, but a classic nonetheless.
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not a favorite I found this book incredibly boring,
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Well worth the time to read, a true classic.
Date published: 2017-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Super interesting people A really interesting study of people. Sometimes I was bored, but often I was so struck by her insight into a character that I couldn't help smiling. Didn't love all the characters, but they were all really well written.
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent book - not an 'easy' read but well worth the effort Addresses many of the class issues of the time.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Long but worth the time to read Middlemarch: A study in Provincial Life: The title says it all – addresses many classes of life at that time and issues - Victorian. It is written by a woman under a male name – even though everyone knows it is Mary Ann Evans. A masterful job of portraying different characters and personalities.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it This is just such a great book. It takes time to read but if you are the reader who loves to be immersed over the long haul, who savours a story, then this is the epitome of the 19th century novel.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant I first read Middlemarch in my teens and it spoke to me in ways that no book had ever done before. It is still one of my most treasured books.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Middlemarch Its well worth a read for a classic.
Date published: 2014-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mr One of the greatest works in the English language. I have read it four times, and it never fails to involve one entirely. Beautiful writing. Wonderful range of characters. Will read again, and have no doubt it will bring further insights and pleasure.
Date published: 2014-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Middlemarch: A Stacked Deck For those who come to MIDDLEMARCH for the first time and wonder what to make up the more than 900 pages of text, they might look at the clue that George Eliot provides both in the subtitle "A Study of Provincial Life" and in her Prelude. The former suggests indeed a study of life within the narrow confines of middle class life in England before the passage of the Reform Bill of 1832, yet the massive weight of the text implies that it will be a telescoped examination of that life. It is almost as if Eliot wished to place Middlemarch on a microscopic slide and then blow up the image to fit an IMAX screen, from which the reader could see, hear, and feel the images jump off the pages in unforgettably realistic power. In her Prelude, Eliot writes of a hypothetical woman that prefigures Dorothea Brooke: "Many Theresas have been born who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of far-resonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur ill-matched with the meanness of opportunity." Such a "life of mistakes" of the book's major and minor characters when combined with the epic sweep vision of a small slice of English society produce the book's essential theme: no one in the book is meant to be seen as heroic or even tragic because Eliot's deterministic philosophy does not allow them to overcome the stifling hand of a vision of life that hints at only the wispy illusion of success but delivers only the inevitability of failure. In such a climate, neither heroes nor tragic figures can thrive. Part of the reason that readers have trouble keeping straight the huge cast of characters is due to Eliot's original means of publishing. MIDDLEMARCH did not start out as a fully-conceived nor finished product. Eliot had planned to write a series of connected novels, beginning with Dorothea Brooke, but after simultaneously writing two of them, she saw that their tightly interlocking themes would complement one another if they were presented as a continuous whole, so she began to publish them as a serial. She was quite successful, so much so that her publisher reminded her that in order not to let her panting public forget who was who, she had to include--or at least mention--each character on a regular basis. Eliot divides the book into four storylines. The first deals with the aspirations of Dorothea Brooke and her disastrous marriage to Edward Casaubon. The second relates the attempt by Dr. Lydgate to establish a successful medical career that also is demolished by an unwise marriage. The third tells of the many travails of Mary Garth. And the final explains the rise and fall of the banker Bulstrode. Each of these main characters represents types of the middle class that made up the social strata with which George Eliot was so familiar. As they interact with each other, Eliot depicts their respective struggles to achieve success or happiness. These attempts usually begin with marriage or high hopes. Dorothea Brooke suffers disillusion with her husband after only a few months. Casaubon, for his part, endures the agony of knowing that his Great Book is truly the piece of trash that Dorothea rightfully suspects it to be. What emerges in the reader after completing the book is a sense of knowledge of the inner lives of the book's characters and of accrued impressions of life on a vast scale, but what is lacking is the realization that no one in MIDDLEMARCH has learned anything of value except perhaps that fate is a game of chance with the deck stacked against humanity. The reader further acknowledges that God has pulled a disappearing act, leaving the residents of Eliot's world to fend for themselves. And since the characters of MIDDLEMARCH do not change, then neither does its readers. The final judgment on MIDDLEMARCH is that it shows in a universe of detail and character delineation the interlocking lives of characters who suffer mightily, but in whose suffering fall short either of heroism or tragedy.
Date published: 2009-09-08