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The Mill on the Floss (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

George Eliot
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
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Price: 1.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Oct 1993 Wordsworth Classics

This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction by and Notes by R.T. Jones, Honorary Fellow of the University of York.

This novel, based on George Eliot's own experiences of provincial life, is a masterpiece of ambiguity in which moral choice is subjected to the hypocrisy of the Victorian age.

As the headstrong Maggie Tulliver grows into womanhood, the deep love which she has for her brother Tom turns into conflict, because she cannot reconcile his bourgeois standards with her own lively intelligence.

Maggie is unable to adapt to her community or break free from it, and the result, on more than one level, is tragedy.

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The Mill on the Floss (Wordsworth Classics) + Middlemarch (Wordsworth Classics) + Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New edition edition (7 Oct 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260742
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


see record 3842
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dinah Birch is Fellow and Tutor in English at Trinity College, Oxford, and Lecturer in English at Oxford University.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating! 20 Aug 2005
By A Customer
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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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give seven stars 21 Aug 2005
By A Customer
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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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!
It is a great moving story for people of all ages.And especially a 'must read' for all kids.I think I have read it 3 times - and I know Iw ill read it again.
Published 6 days ago by Miss Jyoti Sharda
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth Reading
I love this book and was sorry to finish it. It is full of wisdom and insight into human behaviour.
Published 13 days ago by M Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend it to anyone who likes a well written classical tale like me
Published 25 days ago by annag
5.0 out of 5 stars MILL ON THE FLOSS
Published 27 days ago by C Thake
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great value
Bought this for my Mum for Xmas along with 11 other classics, all Wordsworth classics. She's thoroughly enjoying reading them all and excited to have some new books to read as the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by alison1963
5.0 out of 5 stars Deservedly a classic
I steered clear of George Eliot for a long while (afraid - too afraid it now turns out - of her reputation for 'heavy', intellectual novels). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Didier
5.0 out of 5 stars Maggie Tulliver the Existential Heroine
She gives up the man she loves because her friend loves him too and she cannot bear to destroy her friend. A character so tenderly and so graphically drawn in words.
Published 4 months ago by Mr. R. A. Penney
5.0 out of 5 stars I read it years ago
fascinating and tragic story which i will now reread 60 years later. Always amazing to read books overagain ,How will I interpret it now ?
Published 11 months ago by susan hellum
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mill on the Floss (Wordsworth Classics)
The Mill on the Floss (Wordsworth Classics) The Mill on the Floss (Wordsworth Classics) The Mill on the Floss (Wordsworth Classics)
Published 12 months ago by Mr. I. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Get's better as it proceeds
I got tired of all these erudite folk who instantly recall every phrase from every book they've ever read and so I thought I would try to catch up by soaking up some classics. Read more
Published 21 months ago by grahamg
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