Named for the fictional community in which it is set,
Middlemarch is George Eliot's rich and teeming portrait of provincial life in Victorian England. In it, a panoply of complicated characters attempt to carry out their destinies against the various social expectations that accompany their classes and genders.
At the center of the narrative is Dorothea Brooke, a thoughtful and idealistic young woman determined to make a difference with her life. Enamored of a man she believes is setting this example, she traps herself into a loveless marriage. Her parallel is Tertius Lydgate, a young doctor from the city whose passionate ambition to spread the new science of medicine is complicated by his love for the wrong woman.
Epic in scope and unsurpassed in its study of human nature, Middlemarch is one of the greatest works of world literature.
"One of the few English novels written for grown-up people." (Virginia Woolf)"One of the most profound, wise, and absorbing of English novels...and above all, truthful and forgiving about human behavior." (Hermione Lee)"No Victorian novel approaches
Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative....No writer has ever represented the ambiguities of moral choice so fully." (V. S. Pritchett)
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- Andrew M. Woodward