'She did not know then that it was Love who had come to her briefly as in a dream before awaking, with the hues of morning on his wings - that it was Love to whom she was sobbing her farewell as his image was banished by the blameless rigour of irresistible day'
George Eliot's most ambitious novel is a masterly evocation of diverse lives and changing fortunes in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfillment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career; and the religious hypocrite Bulstrode, hiding scandalous crimes from his past. As their stories interweave, George Eliot creates a richly nuanced and moving drama, hailed by Virginia Woolf as 'one of the few English novels written for adult people'.
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10 years after reading the novel, I am still finding new things to admire. ( Times Higher Education Supplement)Vom Verlag:
In Middlemarch George Eliot gives us a portrait of provincial life in Victorian England that has never been surpassed.
Wit, irony, pathos and brilliant insight into human nature colour every strand of plot and every beautifully drawn character. Foremost among these and Dorothea Booke, passionate to use her spirit and talent in a wider world than that typically afforded to women in the 1830s; Casuabon, the dry, jealous academic; Doctor Lydgate, who dreams of pioneering research in medical science; spoilt, pretty Rosamond Vincy who sees as 'a man whom it would be delightful to enslave'.
The novel centres on the marriages of Dorothea and of Lydgate, and on the web of relationships that connects us to each other. While eagerly awaiting the next part of the Middlemarch serial in 1872, the Spectator critic declared that 'Middlemarch bids more than fair to be one of the great books of the world'.
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