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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'. Middlemarch explores nearly all matters of concern to modern life, portraying an entire community and every class within it. Full of irony and suspense and even richer in character it shows how individual lives are shaped by and shape the community. Within Middlemarch, we find Eliot's ability to expand the audience's compassion and imagination.
George Eliot was one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. Her novels, largely set in provincial England, are well known for their realism and psychological insight. When Middlemarch was released Eliot was considered England's finest living novelist with many critics still regarding this novel as the finest in English.
A BAFTA winning adaptation of Middlemarch aired as a television series in 1994.
Maureen is an English actress and author best known for playing the role of Vicki in Doctor Who where she starred alongside the original Doctor, William Hartnell. She then went on to appear in The Legend of King Arthur, Casualty, The Duchess of Duke Street, Taggart, Cracker, A Touch of Frost, Heartbeat and Jonathan Creek. In 1985 she made a rare film appearance in the comedy She'll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas opposite Julie Walters.
Maureen has also appeared in a number of stage productions, for example, The Relapse (Old Vic), The Merchant of Venice (Old Vic), The Archbishop's Ceiling (Bristol Old Vic) and Othello (Bristol Old Vic).
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Middlemarch is a complex book with many characters and Maureen O'Brien does the impossible by giving each character a distinct and appropriate voice. I listened to it twice.
I love Victorian novels, but I had never before read Middlemarch which turns out to be the best of them all. Four stories about four (or five) marriages are intertwined around the background of political reform in early 18th century England. The characters are all people that grow more complex with each reading, so that we feel we could know what they would do when out of our sight.
She understands the characters very well, and narrates as if the story was coming from her heart and not being read.
Five weddings and a funeral.
- Auguste Dupin
Hard to get started but rewarding when you do.
- Amazon Customer