Never too Late to Read Classics discussion

Middlemarch
This topic is about Middlemarch
77 views
Archive Hefty/Husky > 2018 Middlemarch by George Eliot (July to September)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 60 (60 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6309 comments Mod
Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by the English author George Eliot, (Mary Anne Evans) 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 education.

Although containing comical elements, Middlemarch is a work of realism that refers to many historical events: the 1832 Reform Act, the beginnings of the railways, the death of King George IV, and the succession of his brother, the Duke of Clarence (the future King William IV). In addition, the work incorporates contemporary medical science and examines the deeply reactionary mindset found within a settled community facing the prospect of unwelcome change. 904 pages


Kathy | 1365 comments I plan to join in. 904 pages - yikes! Thanks for the background, Lesle.


Sydney (slknutsen) Read it a few years ago, and I have never forgotten it. Kept me interested in spite of it's length.


message 4: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8968 comments Mod
I have read this book twice and the book is well worth the effort.


Kathy | 1365 comments I'm glad to hear that Sydney and Rosemarie. Looking forward to this book.


Sydney (slknutsen) Kathy wrote: "I'm glad to hear that Sydney and Rosemarie. Looking forward to this book."

Good, Kathy. If you enjoy this genre, you won't regret it! I learn so much about history from these types of novels-dress, hairstyles, class systems, customs, social mores, transportation, housing, etc., etc. There is nothing like a well-researched novel to educate you.


message 7: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6309 comments Mod
Your welcome Kathy! I found it very interesting how much history was being covered in this book.


Kathy | 1365 comments Sydney and Lesle,
I do love history. Hope to start Middlemarch today.


message 9: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6309 comments Mod
Let us know what you think.

Hope you enjoy it Kathy!


message 10: by Serian (new) - added it

Serian (mamapata) | 14 comments Ah, I've been meaning to read this for years, this will probably be very good for me!


message 11: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6309 comments Mod
Fantastic Serian! Glad you are joining in!


message 12: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6309 comments Mod
Tell us about your edition, introduction, translated by and how many pages is in your book!

At 904 pages over a 3 month period, it averages 11 pages a day! Not bad when you look at it like that! Or around 80 pages a week.

Doable?


Kathy | 1365 comments I'm reading a Barnes & Noble Classics edition with an introduction by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. It has 810 pages.

I've read two chapters and am getting a picture of the qualities of Miss Dorothea Brooke, her sister Celia and her uncle.


Kathy | 1365 comments Dorothea is a naive and idealistic young lady!


Kathy | 1365 comments I've finished Part 1, the last two chapters of which introduce us to the Vincy family - particularly Rosamund and Fred. Fred has a discussion about money with his uncle Featherstone. Rosamund is eyeing the new doctor, Lydgate.


message 16: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - added it

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
I was always hesitant to read this because it seemed to me a 900+ Jane Austen(ish) novel / love story. Is there more to the story than just a 900 page love story?


message 17: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8968 comments Mod
This is an almost satirical look at the society of the time, Patrick. The first time I read it, I took it very seriously. When I read it again about 20 years later, I thought it was really funny. There are some characters that drive you crazy, like in real life.
I have always preferred George Eliot to Jane Austen because Eliot shows us a wider range of society, including working class characters in some of her books, and focusses on many more issues than just romance.


message 18: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - added it

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Hmm I might check it out then! Thanks!


Kathy | 1365 comments Patrick,
I've started Part II which is going into detail about the new doctor in Middlemarch, Lydgate. Eliot gives us the state of medicine at the time in England along with Lydgate's background. The book looks at the place of Middlemarch with all it's people and social issues.


message 20: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan | -2 comments Through Chapter 7, Only 840 pages to go.

Last major event: Baronet shifts his focus to the younger sister.


message 21: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6309 comments Mod
840 pages is nothing Dan :) lol!


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 39 comments I'll never forget the graduate literature course I took where we were assigned to read this book in one week. Needless to say, I did not finish it on time. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more if I could have taken my time instead of racing through it.


message 23: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8968 comments Mod
I have taken courses like that. It is hard to enjoy a book if you have to hurry. But Middlemarch in one week is really too fast.


message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) | 39 comments Middlemarch wasn't even the longest book on the list! We also had to read Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution. Needless to say, I never finished the Carlyle.

It was actually a fascinating class. It was just impossible to read all the books in the allotted time.


message 25: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - added it

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
I bought Middlemarch at work. I'll start it on Monday. Hopefully I won't be too far behind haha


message 26: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8968 comments Mod
I hope you enjoy it, Patrick. You have until the end of September to finish it. 😉


message 27: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - added it

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Great story so far. I'm on Chapter 5.
I really liked Mr. Brooke's quote on page 36 (Barnes and Noble version) "Life isn't cast in a mould--not cut out by rule and line..."
So true.


message 28: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8968 comments Mod
I am glad you like so far, Patrick.


message 29: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - added it

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
At times I find myself wanting to smack some sense into these characters. Why doesn't Dorothea see that Will likes her? But instead goes for the older guy who doesn't really like her?


message 30: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8968 comments Mod
I felt that way too, Patrick.
Of course, if all the characters acted sensibly, it would make for a very dull book.


message 31: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan | 18 comments I just finished chapter 16, and I've decided that I'm not a fan of Eliot's prose. There's a lot of telling and comparatively little showing, so her characters seem flat to me. So far there seem to be two books here, Dorothea's book and Rosamund's book. I'm assuming that they'll come together at some point, but I can't see myself rooting for either of these heroines.


Kathy | 1365 comments I just finished chapter 19 and I'm loving the book. I definitely can't be sleepy when reading it though - I really have to concentrate to understand each sentence.

Chapter 18 was the debate about who would get the chaplaincy at the hospital. Lydgate was ruminating what to do and was hoping he didn't have to vote.


message 33: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan | 18 comments Okay, I've made it through chapter 32, which is a bit more than a third of the way through, and I'm now skimming Eliot's long, involved descriptions. I got excited when they went to Rome because I used to live in Italy, and it's such a vibrant and wonderful place, but Eliot even made that flat. Of course, we were seeing it through Dorothea and Casaubon's eyes, and they simply didn't appreciate it.


Annette | 2 comments I've just joined this group and got my copy of Middlemarch today. Looking forward to starting it.


Kathy | 1365 comments Enjoy, Annette. I'm about a third into the book and am impressed with Eliot's range of characters and language.


Kathy | 1365 comments I just finished Chapter 32, where many of Peter Featherstone's relatives are waiting at his home for him to die to see who inherits his wealth. This scene shows how humorous Eliot can be.

A couple lines:
Showing us the various relatives and their ways, Eliot says:
"The troublesome ones in a family are usually either the wits or the idiots."

Mary Garth is tasked with keeping relatives out of Featherstone's room.
"For the old man's dislike of his own family seemed to get stronger as he got less able to amuse himself by saying biting things to them."


message 37: by fp63 (new) - rated it 4 stars

fp63 | 17 comments Hi there, I am joining in! I bought a french ebook version for kindle. Now my devise is that I should read with pleasure. So I read in french to avoid big headaches!
I read the first chapters it is an interesting story with dorothee and celia ( dont know if these are the same names in english) and I want to continue reading more. It reminds me of Pride and prejudice which I loved the book in french (i then read twice the english book and loved the movie with Elizabeth bennett)


message 38: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8968 comments Mod
Glad you could join us reading the book in a language that you can read with pleasure.


message 39: by fp63 (new) - rated it 4 stars

fp63 | 17 comments I was a little skeptic when I saw reviews about extreme boredom while reading this book...
I m at 20 percent of the book and i still enjoy it. I had a hard time to draw the genealogy of the Vincy family hehe.
well I think that if I keep skimming the boring paragraphs when I feel that I stuck on them, I should reach the end of the book.


Tracey (traceyrb) | 729 comments I read the book for the second time earlier this year and again loved it. Eliot does sometimes get wordy and the first time I read it I too skimmed places I got bored over. I totally enjoyed it the second time, and of course being older myself helps :)


message 41: by Tracey (last edited Jul 26, 2018 12:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tracey (traceyrb) | 729 comments I quote Anthony Trollope:
I doubt whether any young person can read with pleasure Felix Holt, Daniel Deronda, Middlemarch. I know they are very difficult to many that are not young. George Eliot struggles too hard to do work that is excellent. She lacks ease. Latterly...her style has become occasionally obscure from her too great desire to be pungent. It is impossible not to feel the struggle...

I agree that I did not find this work as enjoyable as Eliot's earlier works, The Mill on the Floss, Adam Bede, and Silas Marner. However, Middlemarch is still a great work and worthy of reading entirely at least once and in parts, several times.

George Eliot was an authoress at a time when it was difficult to be accepted as producing anything serious. It was a time of difficulty for a woman to be anything other than a wife. To have a great mind and intellect, as she obviously had, was not rewarded and commended as it would have been in our times. She was in the main a self taught and self made woman. If her later works jar somewhat in Eliot's efforts to be taken seriously, this is forgivable if only for the excellence otherwise of her works.


Annette | 2 comments Thanks Kathy, I've had to put the book down to plan and set up a triple birthday party last weekend. I'm looking forward to relaxing with this book, I've really enjoyed it so far.


message 43: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6309 comments Mod
Thank you Tracey for that insight. I had read something similiar to Trollope's statement.

Still makes me leery about reading something that others have skipped pages on. lol


message 44: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6309 comments Mod
Annette hope the triple birthday party went well!


Brian E Reynolds | 4006 comments Trollope is right. George Eliot is a great writer but certainly lacks the ease that I enjoy so much in Trollope. For the mid-late Victorians, I find Hardy the best combo; while short of Trollope's ease, there is less struggle than with Eliot.
When you finish the book, I suggest watching the 1994 BBC miniseries with Juliet Aubrey as Dorothea and Rufus Sewell as Will Ladislaw.


message 46: by fp63 (new) - rated it 4 stars

fp63 | 17 comments Hello there!
I just finished middlemarch today. I read it in 8 days!! Holidays help I suppose.
I am more and more convinced that to appreciate this kind of book it is better to read it in our native language. I would never have liked this book if I read it in English. I began to read the railway children at the same time and I just cannot continue because it is a pain to read...
Middlemarch is worthwhile to read if you appreciated pride and prejudice. It is not an action book but the characters are deeply described and you can understand them in their complexity. I wonder how it renders in a movie since you don t have all these interior dialogues.
I liked this book and some sentences are beautiful in that they explain the complexity of us humans.
I now want to watch the associated show.
Thanks for the support and good reading to all


message 47: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan | -2 comments Through Chapter XLI, about halfway. I am already looking forward to reading this again - after a break, of course.

She is not as easy to read as Trollope. Perhaps this is because Trollope is a master at seeming to know what the reader is feeling at all times. Elliott seems a master of what the characters are feeling.


message 48: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire  | 241 comments Middlemarch was voted number 1 on a BBC poll on the greatest British novel.
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/2015...
Glad you all seem to like it.


Brian E Reynolds | 4006 comments Dan wrote: She is not as easy to read as Trollope. Perhaps this is because Trollope is a ma..."

That's a very insightful comment and helps explain why I can prefer Trollope while admitting that Eliot is the better writer.


message 50: by Kathy (last edited Aug 17, 2018 10:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathy | 1365 comments Chapter 40:

I'm almost to the halfway point of Middlemarch. I just finished the chapter about the Garth family, all of whom are portrayed in a positive light by Eliot. Caleb Garth may have a new position to help with family finances. Mary Garth doesn't have to leave home to take a living teaching.

I like the portrayal of characters' personality and beliefs. The descriptions of business, I don't like so much.


« previous 1
back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Middlemarch (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Elizabeth Gaskell (other topics)