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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars serious memoir intimate and important., 22 Mar 2014
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Mr. A. Beck - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Serious stimulating if a little over self conscious and perhaps pedantic in its insistence on historical detail in the main text but the lack of footnotes as a result is a relief.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Enduring Power of Literary Fiction, 13 Mar 2014
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot (Hardcover)
Rebecca Mead first read George Eliot's 'Middlemarch' - the novel famously described by Virginia Woolf as one of the few English novels written for grown-up people - when she was seventeen years old, and having derived so much pleasure from the book has returned to it on many occasions during the past thirty years. At that first reading, the novel's heroine, nineteen-year-old Dorothea Brooke, spoke volumes to the then seventeen-year-old Mead, who tells us that 'Middlemarch's' theme of a young woman's desire for a rewarding, meaningful life resonated with her and made it seem as if George Eliot was speaking directly to her. On subsequent re-readings Mead has found herself re-evaluating and discovering something new with each of these re-readings. She writes: "Every time I go back to the novel, I feel that - while I might live a century without knowing as much as a handful of its pages suggest - I may hope to be enlarged by each revisiting."

For the purposes of this book, Mead, a British-born staff writer for the New Yorker, took time out to rediscover George Eliot, visiting the author's homes, reading and re-reading her novels and correspondence, and studying Eliot's handwritten journal - and, as she does so, Mead reflects on her own life and on how certain aspects of her life identify with George Eliot's life and the lives of some of her characters. Mead tells us that in writing this book, she hoped to discern the ways in which George Eliot's life shaped her fiction, and how fiction shaped George Eliot; Mead also wondered what would happen if she stopped to consider how 'Middlemarch' had shaped her understanding of her own life. Part memoir, part literary biography, part literary criticism, Rebecca Mead's 'The Road to Middlemarch' makes for interesting, enjoyable and thought-provoking reading and also serves as a reminder of the enduring power of literary fiction. Recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Heaven in book form' Sunday Times, 13 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot (Hardcover)
I couldn't agree more with The Sunday Times - this is a wonderful blend of memoir, literary biography and a lively re-reading of one of my favourite classics. A book that not only brings Middlemarch to life in a new way but shows how books can shape, mould and speak to our lives.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Road to Middlemarch, 23 Jun 2014
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If you know the novel well it is a fascinating mix of insights about the book and about George Eliot's unconventional life. It is also interesting to hear Rebecca Mead's involvement with the book at different times in her life and why it have ant so much to her.
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4.0 out of 5 stars bought this as a way into Middlemarch - turns out it is really enjoyable on its own merits, 21 May 2014
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This review is from: The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot (Hardcover)
Thoughtful, interesting and well paced. The personal journey through George Elliot's history and the descriptions of her other writing and relationships is easy to absorb - I ended up feeling as though I had learned quite a lot through osmosis rather than study. I enjoyed the author's writing style and did search out some of her articles as a result of reading this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present !!, 26 April 2014
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This review is from: The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot (Hardcover)
Bought this following an interview on TV with the author. The person I bought it for is a George Eliot fan and on receipt of the book I was delighted with the packing as it was in pristine condition.
Also arrived much sooner tha expected .!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 9 April 2014
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The way the author interweaves her own life story with the story of George Eliot and the stories of the characters in 'Middlemarch' is very moving indeed. The author's gentle use of the English language - just enough adjective but not too much - makes for an eloquent read. I can't wait to get to the end - it is that good! Time and again I have been moved to tears as I have recognised links to my own story. I can commend this book to anyone with a love of the English language and of George Eliot; above all of the superb 'Middlemarch'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great read, 30 Mar 2014
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I really enjoyed this book. The author has masterfully dealt with her own memoir as well as that of George Eliot and the characters in Middlemarch. One has to have read the Middlemarch to fully appreciate this book. Her insight into the characters is informed by extensive research. She has read biographies,letters and critics to name a few. I would recommend this book to any reader of Middlemarch seeking to understand George Eliot and her characters.
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The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot
The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot by Rebecca Mead (Hardcover - 6 Mar 2014)
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