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Penguin Classics Middlemarch [Hardcover]

George Eliot
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 28.00
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Book Description

July 26 2011 0141196890 978-0141196893
Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. George Eliot's most ambitious novel is a masterly evocation of diverse lives and changing fortunes in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfillment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career; and, the religious hypocrite Bulstrode, hiding scandalous crimes from his past. As their stories interweave, George Eliot creates a richly nuanced and moving drama, hailed by Virginia Woolf as 'one of the few English novels written for adult people'.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Though not out of print, this popular title is being added to the venerable "Modern Library" line to coincide with a PBS Masterpiece Theatre miniseries. Along with the full text, this edition includes an introduction by A.S. Byatt. All that for $15 makes this a bargain.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative."
--V. S. Pritchett

From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 19th C. Book about Being Human May 29 2004
I first read this book in a college course about self-deception as a theme in literature. This was by far my favorite of the things we read (we read such other things as Vanity Fair, The Ring and the Book).
This is really a long book about ordinary circumstances in a 19th century rural area in England. So why is a book such as this one considered such a classic even though not many particularly grand events happen?
The book is the study of the ordinary in many ways. You end up seeing how different people live and deal with different situations and what kinds of people they are. At the same time that the reader comes to judgments about the people in the book, George Eliot manages to portray most of her characters sympathetically. Even the worst people in the book are rounded out in some ways and Eliot tries to imbue a sense of humanity. It portrays an "adult" view of the world instead of the simplistic view of the child. In fact, Dorothea makes a journey during the book from a child with a romanticized view to an adult with a more rich understanding through life experience and wisdom.
If you're looking for a book about exciting events, with high drama, with a fast pace, don't bother picking this book up since you'll probably dislike it. This is a book written by a woman and expressing some criticisms of a woman's place in the world of her time. It is also a book that explores a more ordinary setting and viewpoint than perhaps most male authors of the time would write in such depth about. She brings a different experience than most male or female authors of the 19th century. Male authors focused on grander events (their characters often fighting to get somewhere in life) while many female authors showed a romanticized view of life and love.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! May 28 2007
By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER
This one deserves 10 stars, it is really one of the most incredible books I've ever read. I think I've only given a brilliant rating to the Count of Monte Cristo and Bleak House. This is a fascinating character study of the people of Middlemarch, a town in Victorian England. I can't even begin to try to describe the story -- there is Dorothea who makes a dreadful first marriage to an older man, Dr. Lydgate and his disastrous relationship and marriage to the self-centered Rosamund, Fred Vincy and Mary, and much much more.

The way the author pulls her story and characters together is incredible, and the insight into the characters is nothing short of brilliant. To quote from the book jacket and Virginia Wolf "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people."

Just be warned, this is not a sit on the edge of your seat, can't put it down until it's finished type of novel. This is a story to savour and enjoy the multi-faceted characters and the author's glorious prose like a fine red wine or a box of chocolates (or both). If you are looking for high action and adventure, this is not the book for you. Highly recommended for any lover of 19th century English literature, not as dark and brooding as Hardy can be, but the prose is just as lovely, if not better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort. Feb. 12 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had to read "Middlemarch" for a Victorian literature course, and I approached it with certain trepidation: it's a tome, for a start, and by the time I braved it, I'd heard pretty much everyone in the class muttering about how dense and difficult it was. I had that reaction, too, for about 100, or even 200 pages. But I fell in love with it slowly. You have to almost re-learn how to read when you approach a novel like Middlemarch; it was not written to cater to short, wandering attention spans. But the brilliance of this book gradually reveals itself. Eliot is subtle and serious, but she is also witty and very humane, and in "Middlemarch" she tackles so much: science, art, religion, politics, love, morality.
I noticed by the end of the course that everyone who had previously been whining about this book had come to feel a certain sense of awe toward it. "Middlemarch" certainly demands a lot of time and thought to fully appreciate, but it's not difficult to understand why this is considered the great Victorian novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars greatest english novel with something for everyone March 20 2005
By A Customer
Middlemarch has to be the greatest novel ever written in the english language. Why do I make such a sweeping statement? The reason is that this book has everything romance, suspense, wisdom,plot, philosophy, beautiful prose, real characters that are flawed and not judged by the author. Underlying all this is the large layer of feeling that we are all worthy, that we are all capable of so much good. One leaves the novel with such a sense of peace. I'm probably making this book sound boring when it's actually a page turner. However along with the page turning there's the more than occasional moment of profundity when we stop and think. Also for the romantics out there nobody can beat george eliot when it comes to a great love scene. This book is well worth buying for you'll read it more than once.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Underappreciated Classic Sept. 8 2003
George Eliot (actually Mary Ann Evans) created a remarkable story. One would think a 794 page story would have to contain a fair amount of filler. Yet Mary Ann Evans had so much to say, so much humor to share, insight to express, and story to relate that no less than 794 pages would have sufficed. This is a tremendous book.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Typos and errors diminish the pleasure of a good book.
The novel itself is a genuine masterpiece. However, this particular Kindle edition is riddled with errors:
- Typos that appear to be scan-to-text errors (most frequent was, I... Read more
Published 1 month ago by W. A. Sibbald
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Interesting characters who don't really do much. Sorry.
Published 2 months ago by D. Hudson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's so handy being able to get my favourite classics so cheap via kindle
Published 2 months ago by sunshine
1.0 out of 5 stars Too heavy
No way ...way too heavy. Was suggested as our book club read for the summer. We need something a little lighter. It's summer time ..could not get into it
Published 3 months ago by Ginny Dennehy
5.0 out of 5 stars Middlemarch....A Great Novel
Beautiful, rich use of the English language. Glad to have the dictionary so easily available on the kindle! Very dense and unlike our faster modern writing. I am loving it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jan Fraser
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic....
Once you get passed the old style of writing this book turns out to be just wonderfully written and seems true to the times. Read more
Published 5 months ago by BookerG
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Edition
There are a lot of versions of ‘Middlemarch’ on the market and this Enhanced Ebook edition wins my prize for best value and best content. Read more
Published 6 months ago by The Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars A well deserved classic, a little more difficult to read than...
This is an excellent book, with interesting characters, and subtle psychology, but it will likely take you longer to read than you thought because it is written in elaborate... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Carine WF
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly-designed edition of one of my favourite novels
Middlemarch is a superb novel, but the cloth-bound edition was a huge disappointment. It looks beautiful - so long, of course, as you don't actually read it. Read more
Published 22 months ago by SN
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites of all time
Middlemarch by George Eliot is undoubtedly one of the best books I've ever read.

She manages to intertwine the stories of so many characters so skillfully, and makes us... Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2010 by CanadianMother
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