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Middlemarch (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 10 Jul 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 280 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New Ed. / edition (10 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199536759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199536757
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 4.6 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

George Eliot's Middlemarch (1871-72) is one of the classic novels of English literature and was admired by Virginia Woolf as "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people." The complex main plot and many subplots revolve around Dorothea Brooke, an ardent young woman, and her relationship to three men: Casaubon, a clergyman and scholar twice her age; Lydgate, an ambitious young doctor who shares Dorothea's enthusiasm for reform but whose flaws compromise his ambitions; and Will Ladislaw, a young man of mysterious origins, romantic temperament, and artistic inclinations. A female Bildungsroman and a study of character and society in the realistic mode pioneered by Balzac, Middlemarch is also an historical novel that offers a panorama of English society in an era of social reform and political agitation.

This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and a rich selection of contextual materials, including contemporary reviews of the novel, other writings by George Eliot (essays, reviews, and criticism), and historical documents pertaining to medical reform, religious freedom, and the advent of the railroads. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Carroll is Professor of English Literature at the University of Lancaster. He edited George Eliot: The Critical Heritage (1971), and the Clarendon edition of Middlemarch (1986). He is joint General Editor of the Longman Literature in English Series. Felicia Bonaparte is Professor of English at the City University of New York and has written extensively on George Eliot. Among her other publications is the experimental biography The Gypsy-Bachelor of Manchester: The Life of Mrs Gaskell's Demon (1992).

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I suppose that one cannot complain too much if you don't actually have to pay for something - but this edition is a great disappointment.
Middlemarch, that otherwise hefty tome, is an ideal book to read in e-format to save wear and tear on the wrist. British readers, however, should be aware/beware that this is not Middlemarch-as-she-was-wrote but an American translation. As well as the disconcerting and disrupting `or' endings - ardor/ardour - this scanned edition is full of annoying typos and scannos that no one has bothered to correct, to the extent in some places that they actually change the sense of the sentence.
I cannot even suggest that you download the Project Gutenberg version instead (also free, as all their books are) because sadly, rather than offering a transcript of the original Blackwood single volume of 1874, they also have used an American edition, published by H. M. Caldwell Company, New York and Boston. At least, however, the rigorous Gutenberg proof-reading process should have eliminated most of the irritating editorial errors.
Please, someone out there, why can we not have English e-classics in their own language - not translations?!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Middlemarch was always one of those great books that I meant to get around to 'at some point.' I'd tried it as an audiobook before, and although I'd been quite captivated by Dorothea, I'd never fallen in love with Middlemarch as a whole. Thanks to the Open University I've had to get on and read it- and I am so grateful that I did. This is a warm, generous, flowing book- it pulls you in and it would take a very hard-hearted and close minded individual who would not spot themselves somewhere on its pages. It's very relevant too- if you have ever been concerned about any of the following: Adolescent passion and evangelism? A crises of business over personal faith? Hubris? Scepticism? How to really live with marriage in the modern world? The difference between ideal love and love in the real world, whether romantic or familial, it is all here. It is not a book to be rushed, although at various points it will overwhelm other demands in your life- it will make you sit up late. It is one of those rare books that makes you feel that you are a different person after you have finished it. Please read it and read it with an open mind; this is not a book of heroes and villains but of the human spirit laid bare and the mean every day things that we do and say are on its pages. But this is not a book that preaches, it is a book that inspires. It also feels like an investment; along with my Shakespeare, I think that this is one I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.
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By A Customer on 26 Dec. 1999
Format: 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.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Oct. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is to come out next year in a film adaptation, and so it is a good time to read the book in its entirety. Over the years some have criticised it, and there are a few faults with it, but arguably there is with any novel. Virginia Woolf had only praise for this claiming that it was the only book written for adults and I won't disagree with her.

On starting this you may think that it is a tale about two sisters, but as you progress you will find it is so much more. Taking in a variety of themes and intertwining different plots this book is magnificent in scope and execution, and is the nearest thing to one of the great Russian novels ever produced in the English language. For me George Eliot's characters come alive, and when you close the book you feel that they are still going about leading their lives.

If you want to read one of the great novels in the English language, then this book is a must read.
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