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Middlemarch

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  117,491 Ratings  ·  5,944 Reviews
Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful a ...more
Paperback, 904 pages
Published 2004 by Signet (first published 1871)
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Stephanie
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm thoroughly embarrassed to admit that this book was first recommended to me by my stalker. Subsequently, I avoided MIDDLEMARCH like the plague, because it became associated with this creepy guy who thought the fastest way to my heart was to stare at me, follow me home, and leave obscene messages on my voice mail.

Flash forward 2 years, when I'm purusing yet another of my favorite tomes, THE BOOK OF LISTS. I'm intrigued to see that the one book that consistently turns up on the "Ten Favorite N
...more
Siobhan
Jul 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone alive.
Best. Goddamned. Book. Ever.

Seriously, this shit's bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. 750 pages in, and you're still being surprised. It's 800 pages long and EVERY SINGLE PAGE ADVANCES THE PLOT. You cannot believe it until you read it.

This is a writer's book. By which I mean, and I say this with love, that if you write, but you do not love Middlemarch with everything that's in you, then stop writing. Yesterday.
Melanie
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Oh, the slow burn of genius.

I always tread lightly when it comes to using the word "genius" but there is no way around it here.

It took me a good 200 pages to fully get into the novel and its ornate 19th-century turn of phrase but very quickly, I was so completely spellbound by its intelligence and wisdom that I couldn't put it down.

George Eliot's astonishing authorial voice is something to behold. It takes the (mis)adventures of a handful of characters and peels their layers one by one with so m
...more
Madeline
Dec 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: the-list, ugh
Page 97:
Ugh.

I'm trying, guys, I really am. But right now I'm about 100 pages into this book, and the thought of getting through the next 700 is making me want to throw myself under a train. And I almost never leave a book unread, so this is serious. However, since it's on The List, I feel I should at least try to give it another chance. But it's not going to be easy.

Here, in simplified list form, are the reasons I really, really want to abandon this book:
-It's everything I hate about Austen -
...more
Ilse
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Some discouragement, some faintness of heart at the new real future which replaces the imaginary, is not unusual, and we do not expect people to be deeply moved by what is not unusual. That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat ...more
Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος   Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο   Αμούν Arnum
Το Μίντλμαρτς είναι η νουβέλα της προόδου και της κοινωνικής αλλαγής.

Βρισκόμαστε στην Αγγλία την εποχή ανάμεσα στην Πρώτη και τη Δεύτερη Μεταρρύθμιση (1832,1867).

Έχει αρχίσει ήδη η ανεπαίσθητη βαθμιαία αλλαγή του κοινωνικού τοπίου απο ραγδαίες επιστημονικές και τεχνολογικές ανακαλύψεις αλλά και παρακμάζουσες ανθρωπιστικές αξίες.

Το Μίντλμαρτς όμως είναι πάνω απο όλα ένα έργο σιωπηλής,διαχρονικής,ιδιωτικής σύγκρουσης ανάμεσα σε δυο αντιμαχόμενα στρατόπεδα, τον άντρα και τη γυναίκα.
Τα δυο στρατ
...more
Alex
"It is one thing to like defiance, and another thing to like its consequences."

Middlemarch is a towering achievement. It's tough to find words strong enough to describe it; I mean, I just finished Madame Bovary and called it perfect, so where do I go from there? Middlemarch is almost three times as long and it's still perfect; that's more impressive. But Anna Karenina is pretty close to perfect too, so now what? Here's what: Middlemarch is the best novel that's ever been written. That's the trut
...more
Samadrita
Take this for granted. Middlemarch will haunt your every waking hour for the duration you spend within its fictional provincial boundaries. At extremely odd moments during a day you will be possessed by a fierce urge to open the book and dwell over pages you read last night in an effort to clarify newly arisen doubts - 'What did Will mean by that? What on earth is this much talked about Reform Bill? What will happen to poor Lydgate? Is Dorothea just symbolic or realistic?'
And failure to act on y
...more
Eve
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, read-2016
 photo image_zpsauynsmg3.jpeg

If I told you that my obsession with Middlemarch began with a standing KitchenAid mixer, you'd expect me to elaborate. It started one summer day when I was a teenager. My friend had invited me over to her house for a movie night and sleep over. Though our families had known each other since before either of our births, my friend and I had just recently reconnected with the help of a graduation party and AOL. The joys of dial up Internet.

When I arrived, I was shown into the kitchen where my fri
...more
Traveller
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, victorian
Since I've been told bigger is better, and long reviews are better than short ones, I've decided to update my short Middlemarch review with a long one:

Although Eliot started working on the serialised chapters of Middlemarch around about 1868 (they were published three years later), it is set in roughly 1829-1832, (so writing it took place roughly 40 years after the setting) which gave her the advantage of hindsight.

It is partly this, and the fact that Eliot did a lot of conscientious research, t
...more
Kalliope


The Author is not Marching hidden in the Middle.

One could write a very long review just collating the various responses to this novel by subsequent writers. In my edition the introduction was written by A.S. Byatt who quotes James Joyce and John Bayley. I have also encountered somewhere that Julian Barnes thinks this is the best novel written in English.

I will not attempt that collage, but I wish to begin with two other quotes.

In a letter to his friend and painter Anthon van Rappard, from Marc
...more
Manny
Since it's still Stalker Week here on Goodreads, I decided to create a new shelf, which I've called older-men-younger-women. I hope that's neutral enough that I won't get flagged. My criterion is simple: a relationship between a man and a much younger woman needs to play an important part in the story.

Well, as I was saying to Meredith, I knew ahead of time that Twilight and Lolita would be there. I trust we've already absorbed all the lessons that can usefully be drawn from these books, so I won
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
853. Middlemarch, George Eliot
Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by the English author George Eliot, first published in eight installments (volumes) during 1871–72. The novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during 1829–32, and it comprises several distinct (though intersecting) stories and a large cast of characters. Significant themes include the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy, political reform, and edu
...more
Martine
Widely regarded as the quintessential Victorian novel, Middlemarch is a superb study of life among the upper and upper middle classes of a fictional rural community in 1830s England. It takes 900 pages to draw its conclusions, but they're 900 pages of some of the richest realist writing nineteenth-century literature has to offer, full of insights into society, human nature, what to do in life when one can't quite make one's dreams come true, and how to make a marriage work. I've seen it describe ...more
Luís C.
I am spoiled at the moment with my literary discoveries !! I once again enjoyed George Eliot's Middlemarch, a pavement of nearly 1000 pages, a fantastic story of a small village in England where the destinies of several locals meet and where from the very first pages we embark In a great adventure!
The novel focuses on several couples: Dorothea Brooke and M.Casaubon, a boring ecclesiastic, followed by Dorothea and Will Ladislaw, whom we follow throughout history; the unhappy marriage of Tertius L
...more
Joey Woolfardis
Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003.

Once in a while a book comes along that I can't quite rate. Not because it's brilliant, or terrible, but because it has too many elements within it that make me feel different things-often polar opposites. This is one such book.

When I first started reading it I was in a mental slump, which meant I was also in a reading slump. It is lengthy-at nigh on 900 pages-which contributed to the fact that I did
...more
Hadrian
Reading Middlemarch was an acquired taste. This was a slow and deliberate read, at first from mild skepticism to more curiosity.

What most interested me was the breadth of human experience in this novel. Eliot is a savvy and learned writer. She refrains from falling back on the worst of Dickensian caricatures, but instead attempts to sketch out what people are, and how they interact with and shape each other. The worst characters have some sympathetic face to them, the best have their own gashes
...more
Aubrey
I have not taken a bribe yet. But there is a pale shade of bribery which is sometimes called prosperity.
The afterword to my edition compared one of its many cruxes, this one dealing with the slow grave robbing of sin, to the machinations of Macbeth. I will raise those stakes from plot device to the narratology of equivocation: Shakespeare, previously under investigation for suspected connection to the Gunpowder Plot, currently in the thrall of absolutist witch hunter King James, is made to wri
...more
Tea Jovanović
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ovo mi je jedan od omiljenijih klasika a super je i serija snimljena po knjizi... onako kako to samo Britanci majstorski prave... :)
Mala
Jun 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From this book, I learned that I'm not fit to hold a pencil.
Phil Williams
Oct 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: The jackanapes and mongrels who need to learn that people aren't so bad as they seem.
When I finished reading this book, I wrote in the front of it that 'This is the most rewarding book you will ever read' and left it on a bookshelf in Fiji, dreaming that someone would go through the effort of reading the whole thing based only on my comment. I doubt anyone's picked it up since then; Fiji is a strange and frightening place.

I spake the truth, though. It strikes me that most of those who've read Middlemarch these days are hapless souls who resent it as the mammoth task some crooked
...more
Perry
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: verlaten
Made it Past Page 700, But Cannot Read Even One More Page of Telling (Compared to Showing)

Reading this now seems akin to being impelled to eat an overcooked steak with a plastic fork and butter knife . After months of pain, I put my finger on one of the reasons why. It was published in 1871 before the literary realism of Flaubert's 1856 Madame Bovary gained a foothold in the lit world.

For example, something that especially drives me to the brink is Eliot's constant long-winded commentary on the
...more
Grace Tjan
" We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time..."

Delusions, self-induced or otherwise, form the central theme that runs through Middlemarch. Dorothea Brooke, thirsting for knowledge and a meaningful occupation, deludes herself that she would gain those things by marrying Casaubon, a cold, obsessive scholar more than twice her age. Casaubon himself is mired in self-delusion about his life-long research, which Dorothea soon finds out to be obsolete. Th
...more
El
This is the book that I would answer if I were hypothetically asked what book could have single-handedly become the reason that my relationship would ever fall apart. More so than Infinite Jest or Proust, other examples of books that have consumed or are consuming my life in one way or another. I didn't realize I had a reading problem until I realized that my boyfriend was unpacking around me; literally unpacking boxes right from under my feet - while I sat there and turned the pages. Or when I ...more
Rachel
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Middlemarch may look like 1000 pages of repressed English people who won't do exciting things, but in fact, it's a thrill ride (if the ride were called "Class Consciousness and How it Will Kill Your Love Life and Your Business"). This book has more action than all three Pirates movies. George Eliot was not messing around.
Roy Lotz
Some gentlemen have made an amazing figure in literature by general discontent with the universe as a trap of dullness into which their great souls have fallen by mistake; but the sense of a stupendous self and an insignificant world may have its consolations.

I did not think a book like this was possible. A work of fiction with a thesis statement, a narrator who analyzes more often than describes, a morality play and an existential drama, and all this in the context of a realistic, historical
...more
Kelly
May 23, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women, particularly feminists, brit lit dorks
I would not have read this if it were not for a class I took last spring. I will admit that. It had always intimidated me. Large size and dense, winding prose will tend to do that to one.

However. It did have some things to say. The problem, of course, is that most of the subject matter it tackles- marriages, love, children, the various problems of country life are things that people can read about in many forms, and they don't need to come to such a Serious book to do it. Especially one that add
...more
Lawyer
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in how to live. And why.
Middlemarch: A Study in what Matters

Full review to follow. In the utmost brevity, if you have found the mere thought of reading Middlemarch too daunting because of its sheer length, it is time to cast the fear aside and take your copy down from the shelf and begin to read. Find yourself immersed in a world of saints and sinners in rural England of the 1830s. George Eliot's novel breathes of life on every page. Joy in it. Revel in it. Do not think of it as a book from which the dust of a distant
...more
Olive (abookolive)
Didn't love it quite as much as I thought I was going to, but I cannot deny this is a masterpiece.
Sara
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a classic
I finished Middlemarch last night, and I put it down with a sigh made of slight fatigue and complete satisfaction. I have never taken a full month to read a book, and that this one took that long is due in part to the very slow pace of the first half of the novel.

Eliot lays us a detailed picture of an entire town and all the people in it. She does not skimp on a single person, so that we know her major characters well, but we also know her secondary characters well. Even the characters who popul
...more
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2,223 followers
Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She was born in 1819 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 ...more
More about George Eliot

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“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.” 568 likes
“It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted.” 417 likes
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