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The Mill on the Floss (English Library) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Oct 1979


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Reprint edition (25 Oct 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140431209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140431209
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,622,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

with each volume having an introduction by an acknowledged expert, and exhaustive notes, the World's Classics are surely the most desirable series and, all-round, the best value for money (Oxford Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mary Ann Evans (1819-80) began her literary career as a translator, and later editor, of the Westminster Review. In 1857, she published Scenes of Clerical Life, the first of eight novels she would publish under the name of 'George Eliot', includingAdam Bede, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda.

A S Byatt is an Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge. Her published work includes The Shadow of the Sun and Possession, the winner of the 1990 Booker Prize.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A WIDE plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
I cried bitter tears on finishing this classic! Beautifully written with acutely observed characters. Overall it was a powerful and emotional trip through the life and loves of a passionate, complex and intelligent woman.
Repressed feelings, social ostracism, family feuds, kinship, pomp, pride, spirit, materialism, forgiveness, sibling love, sexual love, morality, independence, dependence and, ultimately, gutwrenching tragedy. Loved it.
That about sums it up really!!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
RUN, do not walk, to bookshop or library and soak yourself in this glorious treat. Eliot is both bracing and ineffably comforting. All of humanity is here, beautifully observed, but best of all are the meticulous and kind descriptions of Maggie Tulliver's childhood, her rebellions and reactions, and the staring incomprehension of the much duller adults by whom she's surrounded. No-one conveys childhood boredom and bewilderment so well as Eliot does here. As the jaws of society close on Maggie, there's a dullish Dickensian plot abotu family ruin and suitors, but it hardly matters - what matters is the dazzling characterisation, the rolling Miltonic majesty of the prose. This is a nice edition with a good clear typeface.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie on 7 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
Powerful and moving, "The Mill on the Floss" is considered to be George Eliot's most autobiographical novel. Along with "Middlemarch" it is my favorite. Set in early 19th century England - St. Ogg's, Lincolnshire to be exact - this is the tale of gifted, free-spirited Maggie Tulliver and her selfish, spoiled brother, Tom, who were born and raised at Dorlcote Mill on the River Floss. Eliot's portrayal of sibling relationships is terribly poignant and plays a major part in the novel, as does the longstanding rivalry between two local families - the Tullivers and the Wakems.
From earliest childhood Maggie worships her brother Tom, and longs to win his approval, and that of her parents. However, her fierce intelligence and strong streak of independence bring her into constant conflict with her family. She finds, in literature, the kindness and love she longs for in life. "...everybody in the world seemed so hard and unkind to Maggie: there was no indulgence, no fondness, such as she imagined when she fashioned the world afresh in her own thoughts. In books there were people who were always agreeable or tender, and delighted to do things that made one happy, and who did not show their kindness by finding fault. The world outside the books was not a happy one Maggie felt. If life had no love in it, what else was there for Maggie?" Her nature, complex, passionate, sensuous, noble, intellectualized, and spiritualized, is of great importance to this novel, as is the pathos of her relationship with Tom.
Maggie's early years are brilliantly and unsentimentally portrayed from a child's perspective. The author structures a sequence of childhood's phases, which might appear, at first, to be random vignettes, but constitute an excellent psychological basis on which to build a character and motivation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 July 2008
Format: Paperback
The Mill on the Floss, published in 1860, traces the turmoil in the life of Maggie Tulliver, a young woman who has a streak of independence but who also feels close to her father and her brother and believes that she must always honor their feelings and wishes. Maggie's father is the owner of the Dorlcote Mill on the Floss River, a failing business drawing him into increasing debt to his relatives and creditors. Her brother Tom, with no interest in the mill, is encouraged to learn other skills which may suit him for a higher level of society. When the mill fails and is sold at auction to Lawyer Wakem, the Tullivers become social outcasts, at the mercy of creditors and dependent on their extended family.

Philip Wakem, son of Lawyer Wakem, is a hunchback who has been a school friend of Tom Tulliver and a special friend of Maggie, who treats him kindly and appreciates his intelligence and thoughtfulness. When the mill is sold to Wakem, Tom and Mr. Tulliver end all contact with the Wakem family, and though Maggie continues to see Philip privately, Tom eventually forces her to choose between the family and Philip. Another relationship with Stephen Guest, who has been courting her cousin Lucy, unleashes Maggie's passions and leads to a dramatic conclusion.

Throughout the novel George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans) explores the many kinds of love in Maggie's life--her devoted love of her father, her dependence on and love for her brother, her intellectual and kindly love for Philip, and her passionate love of Stephen Guest.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
This is Eliot's somewhat 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. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Eliot depicted the sibling relationship between Maggie and Tom with all of those ups and downs that we all have experienced with our siblings, and culminating in the final finish of the story that thoroughly blew me away. I think I just sat for a good ten minutes just saying Oh Wow over and over again, and then felt the need to seek out my brothers and give them both a big hug.

The joy of reading this novel or any other by Eliot is her gorgeous prose and brilliant characterizations, even with the minor characters. Just be warned, this is not an action packed, sit on the edge of your seat, can't put it down until it's finished type of novel. This is a story to savor and enjoy the multi-faceted characters and the author's glorious prose like a fine red wine or a box of chocolates (or both). If you are looking for high action and adventure, this is not the book for you. Highly recommended for any lover of 19th century English literature, not as dark and brooding as Hardy can be, but the prose is just as lovely, if not better.
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