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.
I struggled to finish this book, it is nearly 700 pages long, and not especially to my taste... the minutiaie of the lives of the residents of Middlemarch are just not that fascinating. There is an interesting love story at the centre of the novel which speaks to the social constructs of the time, and there is a mildly interesting power struggle bewteen the doctor and his wife, but other than that I could take or leave this book.
The most interesting thing about this book is that the readers of the day did not recognise that it was by a woman -- I find this very surprising, as to the modern eye it is clearly written from a female perspective.
Arguably George Eliot's (a. k. a. Mary Ann Evans) greatest novel, and considered one of the greatest novels of the Victorian era.
Centred in the (fictional) town of Middlemarch, Eliot presents a wonderful tale of interwoven relationships and a particularly harsh view of the low view of women of the era. Dorothea Brooke is a wonderful heroine...
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