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Past Group Reads > Middlemarch - Book 1: Miss Brooke

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message 1: by Jenn, moderator (new)

Jenn | 303 comments Mod
Discuss book 1


message 2: by Jenn, moderator (new)

Jenn | 303 comments Mod
In this first book we are introduced to Dorothea and Celia Brooke, two orphaned sisters living with their bachelor uncle. Dorothea has high ideals, and she wants to do something meaningful with her life. She is attracted to an older man, Casaubon, because of his intellect. She hopes to be his companion and learn from him, and soon they are engaged. Everyone seems to be against her in her choice because of his age. What do you think of her wanting to marry Casaubon?


message 3: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) I started Middlemarch, left it and restarted. So glad I did. I think that she married Casaubon for his intellect and a desire for security.


message 4: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments Downloaded it from the ICPL w/ Overdrive - 1st time downloading from the PL & will be my new travelling audio book


message 5: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl She fell in love with Casaubon's brain. We've all been there!


message 6: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Brasure | 28 comments I thought she was in love her dream of being important and doing important things. Casaubon appeared to be as heartless and serious as she was - perfect match. Really, I though Dorothea's interaction with her sister over their deceased mother's jewels showed Dorothea's self-righteous piety and self-consumed mentality. I tried to read this book last year and couldn't find a fiber of interest in such a cold main character.
I assume she warms up to life outside her own head later. Lol.


message 7: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments Given her isolated background & educational disadvantages, one can unerstand how Dorothea would imagine Casaubon a prodigy of brilliance, little knowing that all his learning is totally out of date & based on outmoded beliefs; her attraction towards him would be comical were it no so painfully delusional,


message 8: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments 'Lydgate, in fact, was already conscious of being fascinated by a woman strikingly different from Miss Brooke: he did not in the least suppose that he had lost his balance & fallen in love, but he had said of that particular woman, "She is grace itself; she is perfectly lovely & accomplished. That is what a woman ought to be: she ought to produce the effect of exquisite music." Plain women he regarded as he did the other severe facts of life, to be faced with philosophy & investigated by science.' (Ch. XI) I love this passage (which reveals Lydgate's principal flaw) tho' I keep wondering, just what is 'science' supposed to discover about 'plain women'? That instead of 'exquisite music' they produce the effect of One Direction?


message 9: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl That is a great passage. Obnoxious, but great in its own way.


message 10: by Deborah (new)

Deborah (brandiec) I don't think I'm going to be able to join y'all for this one, but I thought you might find the following interesting:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/201...


message 11: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) Thanks for the link, Deborah. It's an excellent article. :)


message 12: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments Hello, Is anybody but me still reading Middlemarch? If you are, I'd love to share impressions.


message 13: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) Unfortunately, Bill, I wasn't reading it this time round. I hope to read it again one day. I hope that your fellow readers join in again. :-)


message 14: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I wasn't reading it this time around either. I only read it within the past 2 years and wasn't yet ready for a re-read.

But I'm reading people's thoughts about it, so feel free to share.


message 15: by Adamd (new)

Adamd | 1 comments Hello, I am reading Middlemarch but got off to a late start. Hope to catch up a little and add to the discussion.


message 16: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments Good! I'd really hope for some comments or questions.


message 17: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments Bill wrote: "I keep wondering, just what is 'science' supposed to discover about 'plain women'? That instead of 'exquisite music' they produce the effect of One Direction? "

This made me laugh out loud, I love it!

Sorry, I got started late on this one. I'm making progress, but have gotten confused now that we seem to have switched to a whole new group of characters (I'm in chapter 12). I guess I should be reading this on paper rather than the audio, but I do better with lengthy books when I listen to them.

Anyone getting confused over the large cast of characters?


message 18: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments You will be amazed at how the different storylines intersect beautifully towards the end. Glad you are reading it. I'll finish tomorrow.


message 19: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments Just finished. What a privilege to read it again - I'd rank Middlemarch alongside Tom Jones as the greatest English novels ever


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