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Penguin Classics Middlemarch [Paperback]

George Eliot , Rosemary Ashton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 13.00
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Book Description

Dec 31 2002 Penguin Classics
It was George Eliot's ambition to create a world and portray a whole community--tradespeople, middle classes, country gentry--in the rising fictional provincial town of Middlemarch, circa 1830. Vast and crowded, rich in narrative irony and suspense, Middlemarch is richer still in character and in its sense of how individual destinies are shaped by and shape the community.

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Rosemary Ashton

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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
7 of 7 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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4 of 4 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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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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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 English and with much analysis within the story line. I have to really concentrate when I read it. It's good for me, but sometimes I feel a little "lazy" and I need to nudge myself to open the next pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Middlemarch is a pleasure to read. Feb. 5 2004
It is an English classic, of course, but it is more than one of those books you only read when you are taking a course in English Literature. This is pleasure reading!
My first language is Spanish and I read this at college. It wasn't even mandatory (there was no time left) but I opened it and I couldn't put it down. It is absolutely "deleitable" (I couldn't find a word in English), page after page.
Since it is divided in short chapters, and it's a huge book, I read only one or two chapters a day; I didn't want to "embriagarme" (sorry again). It was an experience. It you love reading, I mean really love reading, then this is for you.
Treat yourself well for a month. Read it.
It's George Eliot's best work.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 15 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Harriet Walter's Wonderful Middlemarch.
This recording is such a joy. Harriet Walter has the most beautiful voice and gives each character their own unique quality and tone: Dorothea, Mr. Casaubon, Mr. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2010 by Virginia
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant display of human nature
This book should in all reality be a disaster. Eliot goes on and on about various aspects of people's internal lives and the story creeps along at times. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2009 by Rodge
3.0 out of 5 stars I suposse a classic
Well, here is Middlemarch considered a masterpiece by every critic death or alive, from V.Woolf to Harold Bloom, from G. Read more
Published on June 22 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best George Eliot Book Ever!!!!!
I first read this book as an undergraduate -- and I still pick it up now and again for inspiration. This is Eliot's best novel -- you may go on to read Daniel Deronda, Adam Bede... Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by "greekfinn"
2.0 out of 5 stars Warm, fuzzy, too long. Think Tolstoy after a lobotomy.
Middlemarch is treated as a classic: it shouldn't be. While it has some amusing stock characters and portrays some of the great disappointments of life, its moralizing is overt... Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by Felix Sonderkammer
4.0 out of 5 stars A subtly powerful, timeless observation of human nature
Some people had warned me that the writing of George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, 1819-80) was heavy and uninteresting, but that only piqued my interest in her writing... Read more
Published on April 11 2004 by Lisa Briggeman
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