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The Mill on the Floss

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  34,401 Ratings  ·  1,252 Reviews
If life had no love in it, what else was there for Maggie?'

Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family. As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires i
Paperback, 579 pages
Published February 27th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1860)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Upon completion of the The Mill on the Floss, I realized that I had just finished something monumental—a staggeringly amazing literary achievement. This novel, written by ‘George Eliot’ (Mary Anne, or Marian Evans), and first published by Blackwood and Sons in 1860, could have just as easily been titled, “Pride and Prejudice” had not that title been put to use already. Some twenty-four hours after finishing this book, I am coming to the conclusion that Eliot may, in fact, represent the absolute ...more
Mar 04, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like long books about people
Recommended to Becky by: read for Victorian novel class
I suspect between this novel and Middlemarch, George Eliot is becoming my favorite nineteenth-century novelist. I wish she were still alive so that I could write her fan letters.

The Mill on the Floss is funny and moving and philosophical. Eliot does so many different things well; she's witty and detached, and then she writes a love scene that makes your knees go wobbly. Middlemarch struck me the same way - it's incredibly romantic, and then it does things with that romance, crazy thematic plot t
Oct 14, 2008 Meg rated it really liked it
Ah, the classic tale of Maggie Tulliver and the four men she loves. How they destroy her, how she destroys them, and how they all end up irredemptively miserable. Or dead. In most cases, both.

So why read it? Because it's beautiful. Because it opens up your heart and mind in powerful ways. Because you will LOVE and truly feel for Maggie. Or just because you want to read one of those stories that makes you think, "See... my life isn't that bad!"

Maggie is amazingly intelligent, but she can't be edu
But until every good man is brave, we must expect to find many good women timid, too timid even to believe in the correctness of their own best promptings when these would place them in a minority. And the men at St. Ogg’s were not all brave by any means; some of them were even fond of scandal, and to an extent that might have given their conversation an effeminate character if it had not been distinguished by masculine jokes and by an occasional shrug of the shoulders at the mutual hatred
Huda Aweys
I think that, The novel was to monitor a particular historical period .. in terms of the social reality in that period ..,And I loved Maggie very by the way :)
Apr 24, 2007 Claire rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

It took me a while to get into this novel. This was not a surprise. I remember that it took a long time for my eighteen year old self to fall in love with Middlemarch : a study of provincial life, but fall in love with it I did. And so it was with this book. I knew that it was a well-written novel from the first paragraph. But eventually I went from appreciating Eliot’s skill as a writer to adoring what she had written.

Maggie Tulliver is a simply wonderful heroine. Intelligent, passionate, desp
Nov 15, 2010 Brinda rated it it was amazing
While Middlemarch may be grander in scope, a tad more sophisticated in its style and perhaps more global in its outlook (despite the title), Mill on the Floss is a raw, action-packed intellectual and emotional thriller. And I mean thriller not in the creepy sense but in the truly exhilarating one. I refuse to choose between the two because I love them both.

Maggie Tulliver is just about the most exciting fictional character I have ever encountered. Perhaps she taps into a subconscious sexism, wh
Five thousand stars.

I don't really know what to say. To me, old novels sometimes feel too emotionally remote, usually the fault of the conservative style imposed on them, but this was one of the most emotionally vibrant things I've ever read. Maggie was such a vivid character that every page she's on feels true. And yet, it's such a novel, with themes so richly built. Because of Shannon's numerous discussions of it for many years, I knew most of the ending before starting, but that only made it
Mary Ann Evans – or George Eliot – said that without Jane Austen, there would have been no George Eliot. This was in evidence to me in this novel more than in her masterpiece, Middlemarch, possibly because the latter is a much later work (but so far it’s the only one I have to compare with). In truth, I liked The Mill on the Floss as much as Middlemarch.

The story revolves around a pair of siblings, Maggie and Tom Tulliver, with Maggie (who reminded me of Molly Gibson in Mrs. Gaskell’s Wives and
ETA: Eliot can write. She has a great vocabulary, but so does a dictionary.


I finished 3 minutes ago. I will write the review later..... but this is just to explode!!!! The ending sucks. TERRIBLE ending. I think that is one of the worst endings I have ever come across. The ending is unbelievable and soppy. (view spoiler)
Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 19c-lit
Eliot is superb as always! I would give this 10 stars if I could. This is Eliot's semi autobiographical novel, and tells the story of Maggie Tulliver and her brother Tom. The story takes place in the village of St. Ogg, and at the Mill on The Floss that's been in the Tulliver family for generations. Other reviewers have told enough of the story (in some instances too much) that I don't see the need to go into it again. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Eliot depicted the sibling relationship between ...more
Ben Babcock
It has been over two years since I read Middlemarch , a novel that propelled George Eliot to near the top of my list of favourite authors. With a keen wit and a deft pen, Eliot manages to lie bare the substance of rural English life in a way that allows her to comment on issues that matter to all of us. She captures those intimate but often uncomfortable truths about family ties; about love and courtship and marriage; and, as always in nineteenth-century England, about class and status and mone ...more
I really felt for Maggie throughout the book. She was such an intelligent child, reading classics at age 9 that I've yet to read. It's such a shame that she wasn't given an education as she was a woman but Tom (who learned next to nothing at his school- what a waste of money!)was.

I also felt sorry for Maggie because her love for her brother was so deep but unreciprocated. Tom was a jerk, for lack of a better word, and he really knew how to manipulate Maggie and make her feel awful. I thought I'd
Warning: Here be spoilers!

Oh, George Eliot, why are you doing this to me? I so want to like you. I want to admire you, marvel at you, and rave about your brilliancy. I want to be your friend, and have interesting dinner conversations with you because I think you are a remarkable woman. So why are you making it so hard for me to admire your works?

It started with "Middlemarch" and now this. "The Mill on the Floss" started off so well. I was into the story and interested in the characters, especial
This is the first novel I've read, written by George Eliot and naturally had high expectations of it, and I was certainly not led to be disappointed. It is a poignant tale, encompassing sibling relationship, filial duty and coveted independence of the protagonist against a background of early 19th century England, with its epitomizing focus on social class, rigid morality and clan loyalties. Eliot is the ultimate mistress of characterization, in that she doesn't strive to create 'saints' but cha ...more
Jul 11, 2015 Xueting rated it really liked it
Shelves: victorian-lit, school

(Fuller review to come when I can make more sense of this)
Nov 21, 2011 Mira rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mira by: Dania Abul HAJ
Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

The Mill on the Floss is one of the most delightful surprises of 2011. I've literally fallen in love with this novel, no wonder of course; as it's an amazingly insightful read, a classic, and a gift from a dear friend. I started the book with somehow low expectations and finished it full of this exquisite feeling one gets after reading something that matches his taste perfectly, and knowing that he has just read a masterpiece.

The novel introduces the siblings Magg
Jan 16, 2008 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mybasicbookshelf
i've read this book a few times, and have written about it, and still it has more layers of secrets for me every time. it's a book about the struggles of childhood, the struggles of adolescence, the struggles of womanhood---the struggles to define oneself against, as in many victorian novels, the restrictions of cultural mores.

for me, this is a book about the conflicts between internal imagination and external realities. and so as much as it's about victorian realities, i think for everybody, a
Dec 01, 2008 Helen rated it it was amazing
Wow. George Eliot, you are on the fast track to becoming my hero. What a beautiful, harrowing, moving story. The way you told this story confirmed what I came to believe about you after reading Daniel Deronda and Middlemarch: you had to have been the smartest person alive in your era. Your writing just brims with intellect and good sense and also humanity and a generous, forgiving spirit. You understand people, and you understand how to write about them in a way that neither minimizes, mocks or ...more
Sep 14, 2015 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1860 – its themes are those of all human beings, marriage, love, society and of people struggling against the circumstances in which they find themselves. In the character of Maggie Tulliver, it is tempting to see something of the young Marian Evans herself. Maggie struggles against the confines of others expectations always looking for acceptance, she’s clever and imaginative.

The Mill on the Floss is the story of the Tulliver family of Dorlcote Mill, and particularly of sibli
Emma Flanagan
When I commenced on a classics challenge this year, George Eliot was one author I was determined to read. I've read at least some of the works by the other major 19th century female writers but had never really explored Eliot. The obvious place to start was The Mill on the Floss. I had read to first two sections in college as part of a course on the representation of childhood in the novel and enjoyed it but had been unable to read the rest as I had a pile of other coursework to read.

The focus
Jan 02, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
Mill on the Floss feels to me like two different works stitched together. The first is a full-length sort of pastoral novel about a brother and sister growing up on a mill; the second, picking up around ten years later, is a shorter novella about star-crossed lovers. It doesn't feel very well-planned; two of the main characters in the second bit barely show up in the first. Sure, the first novel develops the main characters, and makes you care about them more as things start to get heavy, but it ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it
The Mill and the Floss is grand opera in words. That "sounds" crazy but grand opera is defined by "large-scale casts and orchestras, and (in their original productions) lavish and spectacular design and stage effects, normally with plots based on or around dramatic historic events." The novel begins with an " overture" which sets the time and place in words and the theme of "childhood associations" tying people to earth. The theme is sung throughout , The curtains open to the Delicort Mill and t ...more
Jenny (adultishbooks)
DNF at pg 293.

You may ask why I got so far into this book. To be fair, I was in the mood for a Victorian novel and was up for a slower, more descriptive read. I hung on because I wanted to give it enough of a chance.


This book was dreadfully slow for me and nothing really happened in the first 300 pages. Didn't really care about any of the characters and the fact I'm going on three weeks of active reading of this book shows an utter lack of interest on my part.

While I don't mind tragic
Elena T.
Apr 04, 2016 Elena T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eroine dagli occhi fiammeggianti, le cui passioni sono il riscontro del fervido sentimento che arde i loro cuori: Emily Bronte, Jane Austen, George Eliot ne hanno fatto titolo. Non vi è disperazione più nera della prima giovinezza, quando l'anima è piena di desideri e non serba ancora vecchi ricordi, né trova complemento di vita nella vita degli altri.

E' il caso simbolico di Maggie Tulliver, indiscussa protagonista de "Il mulino sulla Floss" dell'autrice George Eliot, cresciuta al Dorclote Mill
Such an excellent classic. I had read George Eliot's Daniel Deronda last year and loved her writing style. She writes with intelligence and emotion. The Mill on the Floss tells the story of Maggie Tulliver and her family, father and mother and brother Tom. Her father owns the mill of the title. It has been in his family for generations. Due to various dealings, a lost court case and debts, he loses the mill and ends up working for the lawyer, Wakem, who he had the court case against. Maggie is a ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it
I had mixed reactions to this book. Mid-way through, I wrote this summary:
I have reached tape 6 out of 16 in Eliot's Mill on the Floss, and I must say I don't know why it isn't a famous classic. She does a wonderful job characterizing human nature, and has a subtle sense of humor running throughout, much like Dickens. The Dodson sisters are great. The protaganist is a very bright young girl, (who will probably grow up by the end of the book) living in an age where education was not thought impo
Mar 02, 2011 Namida... rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics-drama
Oh dear what is this book!
this is such a great book by George Eliot, i can never fully state my feelings towards it. it has certainly touched me personally not just by how the characters resound in their own complexity but by the ground breaking twists this book is full of.
it took me two months to read it, and it was sure worth it. told in seven parts, the mill on the floss is not a book for anyone, especially the light-heated or the romantic type. first of all each of these seven parts seems l
Jun 23, 2010 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I have not long finished the book, and am finding it hard to unfurl my thoughts on it in a coherent manner, except knowing that I completely adored this book. I think for me the complete genius of Eliot is displayhed here even more abundantly than in Middlemarch. The prose left me in parts awestruck with its being at once witty and astute, and in other parts completely heartbroken expecially towards the end.
Something for me that gave the book extra potency is knowing that Eliot herself had to u
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In 1819, novelist George Eliot (nee Mary Ann Evans), was born at a farmstead in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, where her father was estate manager. Mary Ann, the youngest child and a favorite of her father's, received a good education for a young woman of her day. Influenced by a favorite governess, she became a religious evangelical as an adolescent. Her first published work was a religious poe ...more
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