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Adam Bede (Everyman's Library Classics) Hardcover – 19 Mar 1992
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Superb scholarly edition of Eliot's Adam Bede ... An indispensable purchase for all academic libraries and large public libraries (Choice)
Key to this volume is the 158-page introduction, which is full of erudition, packed with information, and concludes with a descriptive listing of editions of Adam Bede (Choice) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
The exhilaration that comes from reading Adam Bede Owes its existence to the fact that on every page George Eliot seems absorbed in the process of spiritual discovery. The evocations of bygone rural life for which Adam Bede was so resoundingly praised on its publication in 1859 are charged with a personal passion that intensifies the novel's outer dramas of seduction and betrayal, and inner dramas of moral growth and redemption. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Taking in Eliot's concerns about class, gender and education, this is a moving book that both depicts a lost world and yet involves subjects which still concern us today: a girl's choice between the exciting and staid lover, and the consequences of unthinking sex.
Adam and Seth Bede are both carpenters and Adam is a true master of his trade and can turn his hand to anything. He is loved by all for his honesty, lack of guile and for his hard work.
Adam falls in love with an empty headed but pretty young girl called Hetty who is the niece of a local Farmer. She however has fallen in love with the grandson of the local Squire.
Things take their course and eventually Adam catches them together and forces Arthur the young Squire to give her up, which he does but it is too late for poor Hetty. She eventually accepts Adam's hand in marriage but days before they are to be married she disappears. I won't say too much here because it would be a spoiler.
Also in their lives is a young Methodist preacher by the name of Dinah. Seth is in love with her but his love is not reciprocated so he settles for her just being his friend.
There is a lot of the 'vernacular' used in the book particularly by Seth and Adam's Mother which is a bit difficult to work out but persist dear reader and you will work it out.
This is George Eliot's first book and is every bit as good as 'her' later works if not better in some cases.
Really it is a story of unrequited love, death, dishonour and a young girl who has had her head turned to her ultimate destruction.
A brilliant read and very highly recommended.
Saying that, there was much here to enjoy. The plot was admittedly slow to get going, very slow in fact and I came close to putting the book down a couple of times, but I am so glad I didn't. This seems to be a feature of Eliot's work, but the pay off for persisting is great. Once the plot kicked in it was gripping, and a brave direction to take given the time it was written. Then there are the characters. At first I found Adam himself a bit insipid and goody-goody, but by the end he was a much better rounded out character and I found myself more drawn to him. Dinah, Hetty, the Poysers, Mr Irwine, Bartle Massey - the list of interesting and very human characters goes on. The two I found myself most drawn to, though, were Seth and Arthur. I found Seth more appealing than his brother Adam - he just seemed more composed, dignified and charitable, despite being very put upon. Arthur is the scoundrel of the book and yet I really liked him. Eliot described his thoughts and feelings as if she had climbed inside his head, and hence all of his actions seemed so understandable, no matter how regrettable.
The book is a charming depiction of a rural way of life we have now lost forever, a time when life was simpler and slower, yet the nature of human beings means it was no less dramatic. There are beautiful descriptions of farm and parish life. At times this gets a bit repetitive.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I re-read both this and Middlemarch while on holiday, and it really struck me how much this is the prentice piece to Eliot's later masterwork. Read morePublished 2 months ago by gille liath
Love Adam, top man, Seth, possibly even more of a man ( when all was said and done) the Mothers in this book are pretty amusing I think. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Janie
A wonderful heart felt story about a community and a different time which none the less faced intolerance and an oppressive class system. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Una
Although this is a wholehearted 5 star review I do caution anyone new to George Eliot that I didn't find it as good as the Mill on the Floss or Middlemarch. Read morePublished 14 months ago by hfffoman
A bit tiresome getting used to the old way of writing speech with accents, as usual, but worth the read.Published 14 months ago by Barbara Marshall