One of the great novels of nineteenth-century England, Middlemarch is concerned with the blighted marriage of a young idealistic woman, but also presents a vivid portrait of England during the 1830s.
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This rendition of George Eliot’s classic has much the feeling of a "Masterpiece Theatre" production. Carole Boyd is a very professional narrator, who never falls into mere reading. Eliot's sweeping novel, which puts a lens to the fictitious English town of Middlemarch. The complex plot takes the listener into various households and lives, revealing scandal, secret longings, and unexpected ties. Boyd maintains a comfortable pace, and the tone she sets creates a mood that is appropriate for the formality of the writing and the times. She enhances the narrative passages through her consistent enthusiasm and ease of language.
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excellent reading; irritating music
Very good abridged version of a very long, complex novel. Keeps the main story lines and characters and makes me (at any rate) want to reread the whole book again.
All the main characters are believable and beautifully written, especially the women. I'm very fond of Mary Garth, practical and sensible like her parents, and , of course, Dorothea.
It is fascinating to watch her growth from a naive young girl to remarkable young woman.
She really understands the characters and by subtle changes of tone and speed as well as accents brings out the differences in age, gender and social status.
The last scene wit Dorothea and Rosamond when Dorothea pleads for Dr .Lydgate and Rosamond explains about Will Ladislaw's devotion
The intrusive and over-long musical "interludes" prevented my giving this book 5* all round.
A few seconds of gentle piano would be quite enough. Don't need the strings!
Worst of all it is background to several of the most important and emotional scenes and distracts from their impact.
I would love to hear Carol Boyd (or John Castle?) reading Wilkie Collins's "No Name" , another long but brilliant Victorian novel.
- May Davies