Middlemarch cover

Middlemarch

George Eliot

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1. Chapter 01
2. Chapter 02
3. Chapter 03
4. Chapter 04
5. Chapter 05
6. Chapter 06
7. Chapter 07
8. Chapter 08
9. Chapter 09
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24
25. Chapter 25
26. Chapter 26
27. Chapter 27
28. Chapter 28
29. Chapter 29
30. Chapter 30
31. Chapter 31
32. Chapter 32
33. Chapter 33
34. Chapter 34
35. Chapter 35
36. Chapter 36
37. Chapter 37
38. Chapter 38
39. Chapter 39
40. Chapter 40
41. Chapter 41
42. Chapter 42
43. Chapter 43
44. Chapter 44
45. Chapter 45
46. Chapter 46
47. Chapter 47
48. Chapter 48
49. Chapter 49
50. Chapter 50
51. Chapter 51
52. Chapter 52
53. Chapter 53
54. Chapter 54
55. Chapter 55
56. Chapter 56
57. Chapter 57
58. Chapter 58
59. Chapter 59
60. Chapter 60
61. Chapter 61
62. Chapter 62
63. Chapter 63
64. Chapter 64
65. Chapter 65
66. Chapter 66
67. Chapter 67
68. Chapter 68
69. Chapter 69
70. Chapter 70
71. Chapter 71
72. Chapter 72
73. Chapter 73
74. Chapter 74
75. Chapter 75
76. Chapter 76
77. Chapter 77
78. Chapter 78
79. Chapter 79
80. Chapter 80
81. Chapter 81
82. Chapter 82
83. Chapter 83
84. Chapter 84
85. Chapter 85
86. Chapter 86

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Genres

Summary

George Eliot's seventh and perhaps most famous novel almost didn't get written! It took birth as a short novella titled Miss Brooke but she was unhappy with its progress and finally in despair, she decided to put it aside for a couple of years. Meanwhile, personal problems intervened and when she took up the project again, it was with a renewed sense of creativity. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life first appeared as an eight-part serial novel in 1871-72. In 1874, it was finally compiled into a full length novel and attained instant fame and success. Planned and executed on an epic scale, it is a monumental work that brings together many streams, plot ideas, characters, social and economic concepts and the author's deep concern for the issues of the day. Women's status, the industrial revolution, the disappearance of rural England and the rise of the newly rich and brash middle class, politics, sexual mores, morality, religion and marriage were some of the many viewpoints explored in this very significant work. Set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch, the plot contains three main themes which are connected through a complex maze of relationships and devices. Dorothea Brooke is a gentle and idealistic young woman who seeks a noble cause that she can dedicate her life to. She is well-off, good-looking and engaged to be married to a wealthy neighbor, Sir James Chettam. However, her life takes an unexpected twist when she meets the older, scholarly Edward Casaubon, an equally wealthy clergyman who has undertaken to write an important thesis on mythology. A hurried marriage and honeymoon in Rome follow, during which Dorothea is rapidly disillusioned by Casaubon's cold and emotionless personality. Her emotions are now centered on Casaubon's young cousin Ladislaw but her husband becomes furiously jealous of this friendship. Another plot concerning an idealistic doctor, Tertius Lydgate and the mayor of Middlemarch's beautiful daughter Rosamund, is woven with the story of Rosamund's feckless brother Fred and his childhood sweetheart, Mary Garth. These three plot lines are skilfully brought together in what many have called “the greatest novel in the English language.” Peopled with a host of interesting characters, Middlemarch has remained one of the must-reads in English by virtue of its magnificent scale and scope. It won great acclaim for its author, Mary Ann Evans who chose to write under the pseudonym George Eliot. The book has been adapted for stage, screen and television several times and each succeeding generation has found something of great depth and relevance in it. George Eliot's wry wit and subtle humor make it a delightful read for young and old alike.

Reviews

Listener

Do yourselves a favor, read this wonderful book, enjoy every word on every page, but do not subject yourself to this recording.

Chapters 16-20 are almost impossible to listen to. The unfamiliarity of the reader with American English pronunciation makes it tedious to listen to. In the future, I would hope that readers are more carefully vetted....although they are volunteers...for which I, and I am sure all listeners, are truly grateful.