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Middlemarch (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

George Eliot
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Dec 1993 Wordsworth Classics

This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction and notes by Doreen Roberts, Rutherford College, University of Kent at Canterbury.

Middlemarch is a complex tale of idealism, disillusion, profligacy, loyalty and frustrated love. This penetrating analysis of the life of an English provincial town during the time of social unrest prior to the Reform Bill of 1832 is told through the lives of Dorothea Brooke and Dr Tertius Lydgate and includes a host of other paradigm characters who illuminate the condition of English life in the mid-nineteenth century.

Henry James described Middlemarch as a ‘treasurehouse of detail’ while Virginia Woolf famously endorsed George Eliot’s masterpiece as ‘one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New Ed edition (1 Dec 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853262374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853262371
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Ann (Marian) Evans was born in 1819 in Warwickshire. She attended schools in Nuneaton and Coventry, coming under the influence of evangelical teachers and clergymen. In 1836 her mother died and Marian became her father's housekeeper, educating herself in her spare time. In 1841 she moved to Coventry, and met Charles and Caroline Bray, local progressive intellectuals. Through them she was commissioned to translate Strauss's Life of Jesus and met the radical publisher John Chapman, who, when he purchased the Westminster Review in 1851, made her his managing editor.

Having lost her Christian faith and thereby alienated her family, she moved to London and met Herbert Spencer (whom she nearly married, only he found her too 'morbidly intellectual') and the versatile man-of-letters George Henry Lewes. Lewes was separated from his wife, but with no possibility of divorce. In 1854 he and Marian decided to live together, and did so until Lewes's death in 1878. It was he who encouraged her to turn from philosophy and journalism to fiction, and during those years, under the name of George Eliot, she wrote Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Romola, Felix Holt, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, as well as numerous essays, articles and reviews.

George Eliot died in 1880, only a few months after marrying J. W. Cross, an old friend and admirer, who became her first biographer. She was buried beside Lewes at Highgate. George Eliot combined a formidable intelligence with imaginative sympathy and acute powers of observation, and became one of the greatest and most influential of English novelists. Her choice of material widened the horizons of the novel and her psychological insights radically influenced the novelist's approach to characterization. Middlemarch, considered by most to be her masterpiece, was said by Virginia Woolf to be 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people'.


Product Description

Review

"Excellent text--one of the best editions of any 19th century novel available in paper."--Alexander S. Gourlay, University of Nebraska "Like the other World's Classics, this is a good text in a well-designed format, with adequate but unobtrusive editorial aids and introductions, biographical information, notes--at a fair price."--Robert D. Beckett, Southwest Missouri State University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Dorethea aspires to a high spiritual life, but is stifled by her enviroment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT Middlemarch-as-she-was-wrote 10 Jan 2012
By Clare S
Format:Kindle Edition
I suppose that one cannot complain too much if you don't actually have to pay for something - but this edition is a great disappointment.
Middlemarch, that otherwise hefty tome, is an ideal book to read in e-format to save wear and tear on the wrist. British readers, however, should be aware/beware that this is not Middlemarch-as-she-was-wrote but an American translation. As well as the disconcerting and disrupting `or' endings - ardor/ardour - this scanned edition is full of annoying typos and scannos that no one has bothered to correct, to the extent in some places that they actually change the sense of the sentence.
I cannot even suggest that you download the Project Gutenberg version instead (also free, as all their books are) because sadly, rather than offering a transcript of the original Blackwood single volume of 1874, they also have used an American edition, published by H. M. Caldwell Company, New York and Boston. At least, however, the rigorous Gutenberg proof-reading process should have eliminated most of the irritating editorial errors.
Please, someone out there, why can we not have English e-classics in their own language - not translations?!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars faulty printing 30 Jun 2011
Format:Hardcover
This is not a review about the worth of the writing, but the binding of the book.

The edition is beautiful and very pleasing to hold. However, I was disappointed to discover, after reading a few hundred pages, that where pages 379-410 should be, pages 347-378 had been reprinted, meaning a sizeable chunk of the story was missing. Very poor quality from so expensive a brand. I don't know whether this fault only occurred in a batch of the books, or whether the whole edition is flawed. Be prepared to send it back and ask for a refund, as I am about to do.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a page-turner 26 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The scope of Middlemarch is so broad and includes so many characters, plots and sub-plots that 1000 words would be insufficient to give more than the bare bones of the story, and I would probably make it seem rambling and incoherent. I won't put possible buyers off by doing this. I'll just say that by the end of 'Middlemarch', the reader will be breathless-George Eliot didn't create a few select characters-she created a civilisation. It's like the reader is high above the action, looking down, able to see the complex workings of this civilisation, and further able to focus on the individual. This is a masterpiece. I must also say that the reader who condemned George Eliot for her description of Mary is utterly wrong. She is just describing an unexceptional (looks-wise) person. George Eliot was a moralist. She wrote 'Middlemarch' with a serious purpose in mind. She condemned a lot of evils in her society, and she certainly wasn't racist. After all two men fall in love with Mary, while by the end of the book the reader seriously doubts whether Lydgate (or anyone else for that matter) loves his wife-the very beautiful Rosamund Vincy. Mary is described as a hardworking and honest girl. She refuses a bribe from her employer, even though her family is poor and it would have meant security and comfort for her and them. It is in the hopes of winning her that Fred Vincy turns his life around. Please don't read racism into innocent text. No preface or analysis of George Eliots work (that I've read anyway) has ever found rascist meaning in 'Middlemarch'. I find it insulting that someone who didn't even bother to finish the book-to see if there was any possibility that they were mistaken- can so arrogantly slander an author who acted from the highest moralistic principles in writing this book.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece 7 Oct 2010
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is to come out next year in a film adaptation, and so it is a good time to read the book in its entirety. Over the years some have criticised it, and there are a few faults with it, but arguably there is with any novel. Virginia Woolf had only praise for this claiming that it was the only book written for adults and I won't disagree with her.

On starting this you may think that it is a tale about two sisters, but as you progress you will find it is so much more. Taking in a variety of themes and intertwining different plots this book is magnificent in scope and execution, and is the nearest thing to one of the great Russian novels ever produced in the English language. For me George Eliot's characters come alive, and when you close the book you feel that they are still going about leading their lives.

If you want to read one of the great novels in the English language, then this book is a must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional 19 Sep 2012
Format:Audio CD
In lieu of having time to read Middlemarch before I reached fifty, something I was aware I really should have done as the birthday approached, earlier this year I set about reaching my target through this audiobook and, with a concerted effort, I hit target last night- with 3 hours 40 minutes to spare before the day arrived.
This is an unabridged version of the great work. Every word and character presented with clarity and warmth. It is engaging, intelligent, intelligible, provoking, entertaining and, consistently, properly and seriously very very good. Many thanks to Juliet Stevenson for overturning the omission without leaving me thinking "This was cheating - I really should have read the book myself." Five stars are too few.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of world literature
One of those few books that you don't just read, you live in. After reading it himself, I think it was Turgenev who said he felt like giving up writing, because he could never... Read more
Published 3 days ago by H. B. Wienand
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I read this book on my Kindle and it gives me so many memories of the first time I read it.
Published 3 days ago by Country Music Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Feminist?
Nothing to add about this classic piece of 19th century novel. If you haven't read it, do so and stick with it. Weighty and worthy.
Published 7 days ago by Brian Last
4.0 out of 5 stars an epic Story
written in the English as spoken when composed which makes it a long read, but worth the effort. The various characters are beautifully portrayed with many highs and lows, and all... Read more
Published 9 days ago by r.e.barnett
3.0 out of 5 stars Not yet completely finished it - have to read something else in...
Difficult read. Needs a lot of concentration and a clear head! Determined to keep going as want to know how it all ends
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Middlemarch
Great read, great author, I really enjoyed this book and would have no in recommending this book to others. Magnificent..
Published 1 month ago by Patrick Killeen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I am studying this book in University, it is quite a difficult read and believe it is more for an adult audience than a younger one. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S Noak
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic Novel
This could with justification be said to be the greatest novel in the English language. At its time it was the most complicated - several stories intertwined - it reflected the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Erskine
5.0 out of 5 stars Middlemarch
Enjoyed book after first half. Worth persevering! Really easy to download these book through amazon and so inexpensive. No excuse for not reading.
Published 2 months ago by sally
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time classics
I enjoyed this book. The accent seems to be on clerical and medical personalities and occupations.
The storyline is good and holds the attention. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gillian Mary Townson
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