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The Mill on the Floss: 150th Anniversary Edition [Mass Market Paperback]

George Eliot , Jane Smiley
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 3 2010 Signet Classics
One of George Eliot's finest achievements, The Mill on the Floss is famed for its unsurpassed depiction of English rural life and for its striking, superbly drawn heroine, Maggie Tulliver. The novel's evocation of childhood in the English countryside-at once unsentimental, yet rich with delight-stands as an enduring triumph, but equally memorable are its portrayal of a narrow tradition-bound society and its dramatic unfolding of tragic human destiny.

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`with each volume having an introduction by an acknowledged expert, and exhaustive notes, the World's Classics are surely the most desirable series and, all-round, the best value for money' Oxford Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A WIDE plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The divided self. April 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
_The Mill on the Floss_ (1860) was George Eliot's third published book (after Scenes from Clerical Life and Adam Bede)and tells the story of Maggie and Tom Tulliver, two children who grow up in the middle-class rural community of St. Ogg's.
It's been a while since I've read Mill on the Floss, I think that the last time I did I was in my early 20s, just graduated from school. I got a lot more out of the read this time, I think it's probably a book that profits both with re-reading and age. The first time I read it I identified so strongly with Maggie that I practically skipped over everything dealing with the other characters. I found Tom loathesome and the ending of the book appalling.
As a slightly more adult human, I was able to read it for more than just Maggie's story and enjoy it even more. I was surprised by how compulsively I read it. I'd had every intention of stretching it out over several days, but I literally found that I couldn't stop reading it and carried it with me from room to room in the house. I was able to laugh more at Eliot's sly humor and more able to see people like the Gleggs as people and not simply stock appendages of the story.
I think what makes Mill On the Floss such a powerful book (aside from the writing style, which is excellent) is this notion of the divided self which is being worked out both through Tom and Maggie. Tom has a firm clear sense of right and wrong and is always being forced to question or do injury to that sense because of his very difficult sister. On the other hand, Maggie can't seem to find the right balance between self-indulgence and renunciation. She can't ever manage a way to negotiate between the sharp emotions that she feels and her desire not to inflict the consequences of those emotions on her family and friends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Minor Work by George Eliot Sept. 2 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There is nothing like an obtuse, clotted introduction to impede a good book. For George Eliot's "The Mill on the Floss," The introduction contributes nearly 50 pages of dense literary criticism that numbs the head, darkens the spirit, and creates grave doubts that this book is worth reading for anyone with less than a doctorate in English literature. There is nothing better than reading a good novel. Likewise, there is nothing worse than reading literary criticism that employs the obscurantist principles of the type that infect this introduction. After threading a path through these paragraphs that loom like mountains of iron, it is presumed one is ready to embark on Eliot's novel.
George Eliot, a.k.a Mary Ann Evans, wrote several novels in the mid 19th century. "The Mill on the Floss," written in 1859-60, is not considered one of her better novels. That distinction falls to "Middlemarch," a book that is often referred to as "the best English language novel ever written." Others compare Eliot to Dickens, with the astute observation that Eliot's prose is loftier and her plots are composed with a greater intellectual ability. Wherever your preferences may lie in regards to 19th century English literature, Eliot's novels will find their way to your bookshelf. She's an important enough figure in the English literary canon that an opinion on her writings is an absolute necessity.
Eliot's writing is a large tapestry woven with biblical, classical, and English literary threads, as paragraph after paragraph, page after page, unfurls into a beautifully formed whole. Characters and atmosphere are masterfully etched in ink and paper as Eliot constructs a story exposing the contradictions and capriciousness of English provincial life in the 19th century.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult beginning, big payoff March 11 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book for a Victorian writer's group. I must admit that at first I was sorry this novel had been selected to represent the time period, because I have read books by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and many other novelists whose writing certainly draws you into their stories more quickly. However, I am glad that I persevered to finish the book. Yes, there is a very long set-up, and yes, a huge amount of action occurrs in the last 150 pages of this 650-page novel. But read on--it's worth it.
The novel essentially tells the story of the Tulliver and Dodson families, who live in the town of St. Oggs, known for its middle-class ethics and narrow-mindedness. Mr. Tulliver is married to a former Miss Dodson. The Dodsons are a fairly prosperous family of four sisters and their husbands. Mr. Tulliver is a somewhat less well-off miller, and a major theme of the novel is the way that Mrs. Tulliver's sisters believe that in marrying Mr. Tulliver, she married beneath herself and brought shame upon the family...
The Tullivers have two children--Tom and Maggie. Tom is responsible and hard-working, but has an overdeveloped sense of morality and is constantly punishing Maggie for her shortcomings. Maggie does not seem to belong in St. Ogg's; she is a little wild and free-spirited, qualities that do not endear her to the Dodson sisters of the townsfolk in general. She also worships her brother, despite her inability to live up to his demands. The story unfolds as Tom and Maggie come of age...
There are a lot of vivid and interesting characters in this book. I found the Dodson aunts particularly interesting.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mill On the Floss- Honest and Unbiased
*NOTE* This review may contain spoilers at the end.
The Mill on the Floss is one of those rare, rare gems that haunts you long after your finished. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2010 by atanali
5.0 out of 5 stars Eliot is superb as always! I'd give it 10 stars if I could
This is Eliot's somewhat autobiographical novel, and tells the story of Maggie Tulliver and her brother Tom. The story takes place in the village of St. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2007 by Misfit
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sophisticated and Engaging Victorian Love Story
The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot, stands among the greatest nineteenth century British novels. Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by Nicholas S. Ludlum
1.0 out of 5 stars Booooooooring
I'm a senior in high school, and Mill on the Floss was the most boring book I've ever read. Every guy in my English class despised it, and only a few girls liked it. Read more
Published on Dec 7 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what great writing looks like.
Compare it not to DAVID COPPERFIELD but to Proust. I don't understand calling this book "sentimental" or "melodramatic. Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2001 by mulcahey
5.0 out of 5 stars This was one of Proust's favorite novels. No wonder.
There were certain passages of The Mill on the Floss, Proust once told a friend, that never failed to move him to tears. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2001 by Miles D. Moore
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a brother/ sister story
This is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone. While I don't believe that this story can be placed in real life, I think that it does typify the style of literature in... Read more
Published on May 27 2001 by J. Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Be True to Yourself?
How do you balance duty to your family against duty to yourself? Brother and sister Tom and Maggie Tulliver wrestle with this problem throughout The Mill on the Floss, guided (and... Read more
Published on March 16 2001 by Gregory N. Hullender
5.0 out of 5 stars A Home for Your Lost Soul
I absolutely loved the fact that it's a tragedy. It made sense for all of Maggie's faltered endeavors. Read more
Published on March 4 2001 by E. I.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story with important social issues
Few females were writing fiction in those days, but it says a good thing about Great Britain that most of them were British. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2001 by Guillermo Maynez
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