34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: Middlemarch (Penguin Classics) (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.