Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life


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Praise for the Clarendon Edition of the Novels of George Eliot: "It is the best available edition....The Clarendon format...establishes the history of the text with impeccable research."--Journal of English and Germanic Philology. "Clarendon editions of nineteenth-century novels are almost invariably without parallel."--Nineteenth-Century Literature Often considered George Eliot's finest novel, Middlemarch is a masterpiece of literary realism. This is the first edition of the novel to be published with full critical apparatus since it appeared in 1871-2. It records all the variants in the main edition as well as many of the deletions in the manuscript. The introduction traces the history of composition, publication, and revision.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780192825070
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 03/27/1997
Series: World's Classics Series
Pages: 904
Product dimensions: 4.63(w) x 7.31(h) x 1.48(d)
Age Range: 6 Years

About the Author

Gregory Maertz is an Associate Professor of English at Saint John’s University in New York City. He is the editor of Cultural Interactions in the Romantic Age (SUNY Press, 1998).

Table of Contents

George Eliot: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

Appendix A: George Eliot’s Essays, Reviews, and Criticism

  1. “Woman in France: Madame de Sablé,” Westminster Review (October 1854)
  2. “The Morality of Wilhelm Meister,” The Leader (21 July 1855)
  3. From “Margaret Fuller and Mary Wollstonecraft,” The Leader (13 October 1855)
  4. From Review of John Ruskin’s Modern Painters (1856), Westminster Review (April 1856)
  5. From “The Natural History of German Life,” Westminster Review (July 1856)
  6. “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists,” Westminster Review (October 1856)

Appendix B: Contemporary Reviews of Middlemarch

  1. From Edward Dowden, “George Eliot,” Contemporary Review (August 1872)
  2. From Richard Holt Hutton, review of Middlemarch, Spectator (7 December 1872)
  3. From Edith Simcox, “Middlemarch,” Academy (1 January 1873)
  4. From [Henry James], unsigned review, Galaxy (March 1873)
  5. [William Hurrell Mallock], unsigned review of Impressions of Theophrastus Such (1879), Edinburgh Review (October 1879)
  6. Margaret Oliphant, Chapter XI, “Of the Younger Novelists,” The Victorian Age of English Literature (1882)
  7. From Sir John Emerich Edward Dalberg, first Baron Acton, “George Eliot’s Life,” Nineteenth Century (March 1885)
  8. Virginia Woolf, “George Eliot,” Times Literary Supplement (20 November 1919)

Appendix C: Historical Documents: Medical Reform, Religious Freedom, and the Advent of the Railroads

  1. From “The Apothecaries Act” (1815)
  2. From “The Roman Catholic Relief Act” (1829)
  3. From “An Act to amend the representation of the people in England and Wales” (1832)
  4. From “An Act for regulating Schools of Anatomy” (1832)
  5. Liverpool and Manchester Railroad Company Prospectus (1824)
  6. From [Commentary on the projected Liverpool and Manchester Railway], Quarterly Review (March 1825)
  7. From “An Act to consolidate and amend the Acts relating to the Property of Married Women” (1882)

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Middlemarch 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
tbborrell More than 1 year ago
This version of Middlemarch crashed my Nook repeatedly. I opted to download a different version.
littlebookworm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don¿t even know how to review George Eliot, especially this novel. She captures such amazing things about human nature; not every ending is happy, but some are. I love the relationships between characters, their passions, how they grow and develop as the book goes along. Dorothea especially shines as a character, suffering through a difficult marriage and finally greeting happiness with open arms and a great deal of maturity. Each character has both flaws and virtues, and they are all well-drawn and capable of existence.I love the society of Middlemarch, and I¿d like to think of it as a snapshot of a small, somewhat rural town, all residents bound together against scandal and ¿new¿ inhabitants. She¿s an author that captures the connections between people really well. Married people, friends, clients, children; all are connected and believably so.I enjoyed the epilogue, even though it wasn¿t necessary since I felt as though I lived in Middlemarch. Having such a place just stop existing is impossible!Wish I could go back and read it again!
PensiveCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you've just picked up Middlemarch to read, brace yourself. It's a project. I am not trying to discourage anyone, but like a massive workout routine, you don't just jump into it after being a couch potato. By the way, I loved this book. So far it's my favorite George Eliot book. It's also the longest Eliot I've read. There are some obscure vocabulary words, so keep your OED handy. There's quite a cast of characters, so sit down and try to keep track of them. The main character is Dorothea Brooke, who starts off as a bit abrasive in my opinion, but I warmed up to her as the pages turned. Then there's the idealistic Dr. Lydgate, the fun and kind of silly Mr. Brooke, the seemingly foolish Fred Vincy, among others. The dialogue is humourous a good deal of the time, and the depiction of provincial life is fantastic. *Almost a Spoiler* - the ending is not as horrendously tragic as the majority of its contemporary novels. Certainly a satisfying chunk of a book
shimshonit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've read this book twice now (and seen the BBC series countless times). I believe it to be, without qualification, the greatest novel in the English language. Its themes are so numerous, it has something for everyone--love (with all its glories and problems), revenge, social class, money, progress vs tradition, politics. The web of relationships in Middlemarch--a town experiencing the early growing pains of industrialization--is intricate, and while there are more and less sympathetic characters, Eliot makes sure the reader has enough knowledge about each character to prevent easy labeling of heroes or villains. Each character is nuanced, flawed, striving towards something--like reality, only more interesting.The prose is dense, and at times incomprehensible to the modern reader. This is the main (and, to my mind, only) drawback to the novel. The headings at the beginning of each chapter, usually written by Eliot herself, are connected in some way to the content of the chapters, though I must confess to paying them little attention as the novel wears on. Reading them, translating them (when necessary), and examining the connections between them and the chapters themselves offers a study unto itself. (Perhaps I'll attempt it next time I read the novel.)My edition (which came out after the BBC series) has a quotation on the back jacket from Virginia Woolf which reads: "[George Eliot] was one of the first English novelists to discover that men and women think as well as feel..." While I love Jane Austen's pre-marriage odysseys, I also love Eliot's tackling of the bumpy ride of marriage itself.After 800 pages of thorough exploration of the minds, hearts, and souls of thoroughly human characters, I am still sorry to see it end.
otterlake on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books.
dangraves on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Arguably the greatest novel in the English language, a richness of character and unity of theme hard to match. I've reread it every year or two since I discovered it. Even characters I don't like, she makes me understand, such as Rosamund and Bulstrode. Perhaps she is too easy on Farebrother, Fred and Lydgate, three men who indulge themselves more than is fitting.
labwriter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My Norton edition of Middlemarch is filled with the notes I made when reading it for Dr. Joseph Carroll's class. Thank you, thank you, Dr. Carroll for teaching this book. I've also using packing tape throughout the book for pages that were falling out. That's one complaint that I have about these Norton editions: any more than one reading and these things fall apart.
KendraRenee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had my doubts at several points, just because this book got a little long sometimes, but once I sat down and really READ Middlemarch, it absolutely claimed my heart. (I tore through the final 300 pages in one afternoon!) Eliot speaks so poignantly and truly to human nature that I couldn't help but be taken in by it. The character of Dorothea especially inspired me--and I don't mean that to sound as predictable and trite as it does. Of course such a "good" person would inspire readers... but what I mean is that I admire Eliot's skill in writing her. Not only that, but I admire her skill in creating *less* admirable characters so successfully too: Bulstrode, the Vincy family (in general), and Rosamonde (specifically) among them. I also appreciated Eliot's analysis of marriage, subtly throughout but then more bluntly at the end. Few authors treat the subject as realistically, and yet as hopefully, as she.The ending was satisfyingly cheerful to me, though I am glad Eliot still included a bit of tragedy to make it seem realistic. (I hate unrealistic stories almost as much as I hate thoroughly tragic ones.) All in all, Middlemarch was as true a story as fiction, I feel, can ever get.
drpeff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a lot of cultural discussion that I didn¿t understand. I was able to picture the scenes that were described so well. I liked it.
Stensvaag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An undeniably great book, but tough going for me. Much of it seemed "scholarly" and almost tedious. I'm glad I made it to the end, though!
klarusu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This classic novel has been languishing on my bookshelf for more than a decade in the 'Books I Really Ought To Read' corner of shame so I was very glad that the Group Reads - Literature group picked it for their next book. It moved me to pick it up and stick with it, not to be seduced away by shorter 200-page-reads.I will state up front that I just loved this book. I approached it expecting to enjoy it, certainly to appreciated it for its classical literary merit, but not necessarily to love it in the way I do some of my favourite more contemporary novels. How wrong I was! I am used to reading classic novels and commenting on their literary merit as if they are a genre apart from their modern counterparts, but what struck me about Middlemarch was how alive and contemporary it was - I raced through to the end empathising and identifying with the characters and situations from my modern perspective. Much has been written about Eliot's depth of characterisation and layered storytelling, about her use of language and development of themes - all undeniably valid. However, what is sometimes missed in these lofty critiques is that Middlemarch is a cracking tale and a great love story. It's one of those rare novels that you live with and are absorbed by so completely and for so long, that on finishing it is as if you have lost a group of friends.Admittedly, in the beginning it took a while to understand where Eliot was heading with the many different character threads and her somewhat verbose style took a few chapters to get into. If you find this difficult, I can only recommend you stick with it. This book more than returns the favour by the end and I found I whipped through the second half, desperate to find out how it would all end up for my favourites.Possibly the best demonstration of its pulling power is that the characters grow and develop so much over the course of the novel that I know that I will re-read it sometime in the future because I want to go back to the early sections knowing what I do now about how each individual ends up.The most worthwhile read I've had in a long, long while and a rare 5 stars from me!
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