Adam Bede is classic romance novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1859. The seemingly peaceful country village of Hayslope is the setting for this ambitious first novel by one of the nineteenth century's great novelists. With sympathy, wit, and unflinching realism, Adam Bede tells a story that would have been familiar to Eliot's first readers, the seduction of a pretty farm girl by the young squire of the district. Eliot uses this story, with its tragic implications, to explore the dangers of reliance on religious and social norms to govern destructive desires. As this edition demonstrates, Adam Bede addresses profound questions of morality, religion, and the role of women in society, while at the same time seeking to establish a new aesthetic for fiction.