Middlemarch, Paperback
5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Introduction and Notes by Doreen Roberts, Rutherford College, University of Kent at Canterbury.

Middlemarch is a complex tale of idealism, disillusion, profligacy, loyalty and frustrated love.

This penetrating analysis of the life of an English provincial town during the time of social unrest prior to the Reform Bill of 1832 is told through the lives of Dorothea Brooke and Dr Tertius Lydgate and includes a host of other paradigm characters who illuminate the condition of English life in the mid-nineteenth century.

Henry James described Middlemarch as a 'treasurehouse of detail' while Virginia Woolf famously endorsed George Eliot's masterpiece as 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853262371


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

If you've just picked up Middlemarch to read, brace yourself. It's a project. I am not trying to discourage anyone, but like a massive workout routine, you don't just jump into it after being a couch potato. By the way, I loved this book. So far it's my favorite George Eliot book. It's also the longest Eliot I've read. There are some obscure vocabulary words, so keep your OED handy. There's quite a cast of characters, so sit down and try to keep track of them. The main character is Dorothea Brooke, who starts off as a bit abrasive in my opinion, but I warmed up to her as the pages turned. Then there's the idealistic Dr. Lydgate, the fun and kind of silly Mr. Brooke, the seemingly foolish Fred Vincy, among others. The dialogue is humourous a good deal of the time, and the depiction of provincial life is fantastic. *Almost a Spoiler* - the ending is not as horrendously tragic as the majority of its contemporary novels. Certainly a satisfying chunk of a book

Review by

I don’t even know how to review George Eliot, especially this novel. She captures such amazing things about human nature; not every ending is happy, but some are. I love the relationships between characters, their passions, how they grow and develop as the book goes along. Dorothea especially shines as a character, suffering through a difficult marriage and finally greeting happiness with open arms and a great deal of maturity. Each character has both flaws and virtues, and they are all well-drawn and capable of existence.I love the society of Middlemarch, and I’d like to think of it as a snapshot of a small, somewhat rural town, all residents bound together against scandal and “new” inhabitants. She’s an author that captures the connections between people really well. Married people, friends, clients, children; all are connected and believably so.I enjoyed the epilogue, even though it wasn’t necessary since I felt as though I lived in Middlemarch. Having such a place just stop existing is impossible!Wish I could go back and read it again!

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