3.9 94
by George Eliot

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On April 10, 1994, PBS stations nationwide will air the first episode of a lavish six-part Masterpiece Theatre production of Eliot's brilliant work, Middlemarch, hosted by Russell Baker and produced by Louis Marks. The Modern Library is pleased to offer this official companion edition, complete with tie-in art and printed on acid-free paper. Unabridged.  See more details below


On April 10, 1994, PBS stations nationwide will air the first episode of a lavish six-part Masterpiece Theatre production of Eliot's brilliant work, Middlemarch, hosted by Russell Baker and produced by Louis Marks. The Modern Library is pleased to offer this official companion edition, complete with tie-in art and printed on acid-free paper. Unabridged.

Editorial Reviews

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

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Random House Publishing Group
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WHO that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa,' has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand - in - hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide - eyed and helpless - looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve. That child - pilgrimage was a fit beginning. Theresa's passionate, ideal nature demanded an epic life: what were many - volumed romances of chivalry and the social conquests of a brilliant girl to her. Her flame quickly burned up that light fuel; and, fed from within, soared after some illimitable satisfaction, some object which would never justify weariness, which would reconcile self - despair with the rapturous consciousness of life beyond self. She found her epos in the reform of a religious order.
That Spanish woman who lived three hundred years ago was certainly not the last of her kind. Many Theresas have been born who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of far - resonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur ill - matched with the meanness of opportunity; perhaps a tragic failure which found no sacred poet and sank unwept into oblivion. With dim lights and tangled circumstance they tried to shape their thought and deed in noble agreement; but after all, to common eyes their struggles seemed mere inconsistency and formlessness; for these later - born Theresas were helped by no coherent social faith and order which could perform the function of knowledge for the ardently willing soul. Their ardour alternated between a vague ideal and the common yearning of womanhood; so that the one was disapproved as extravagance, and the other condemned as a lapse.
Some have felt that these blundering lives are due to the inconvenient indefiniteness with which the Supreme Power has fashioned the natures of women: if there were one level of feminine incompetence as strict as the ability to count three and no more, the social lot of women might be treated with scientific certitude. Meanwhile the indefiniteness remains, and the limits of variation are really much wider than any one would imagine from the sameness of women's coiffure and the favourite love - stories in prose and verse. Here and there a cygnet is reared uneasily among the ducklings in the brown pond, and never finds the living stream in fellowship with its own oary-footed kind. Here and there is born a Saint Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heart -beats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centering in some long recognisable deed.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Middlemarch, the magnificent book which with all its imperfections is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.”
—Virginia Woolf

“The most profound, wise and absorbing of English novels . . . and, above all, truthful and forgiving about human behaviour.”
—Hermione Lee

"No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative...I doubt if any Victorian novelist has as much to teach the modern novelists as George Eliot...No writer has ever represented the ambiguities of moral choice so fully".
—V. S. Pritchett

"Middlemarch is probably the greatest English novel."
—Julian Barnes

"It is possible to argue that Middlemarch is the greatest English novel."
—A. S. Byatt

"Certainly the greatest [English] novel."
—Martin Amis


A. S. Byatt
It is a hugely ambitious, hugely successful, wise, and satisfying work. I never reread it without discovering something I hadn't noticed before.

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Middlemarch 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can understand how some readers might become overwhelmed by the 700 plus pages that make up this classic but its well worth the read. George Eliot reminds me of an Austen or Bronte, but with a little more spunk. Everything doesn't always work out perfectly for Eliot's characters and their lives are more complicated and true to life. Dr. Lydgate and Dorthea begin with the best of intentions but their ambitions are soon spoiled through their own folly and misjudgement. The book is a great depiction of human strenghths and weaknesses set in a climate of strict social heirarchy.
lraber224 More than 1 year ago
Do NOT waste your money on this edition of Middlemarch. There are seriously at least 50 typos that I found. Misspelled words, character names switched, missing punctuation. I've never seen anything like it. It was terribly distracting. B&N and the editor of this edition should be so ashamed. Your money and time will be much better spent on another edition.
HBW More than 1 year ago
This edition of Middlemarch has one of the best introductions to a classic I've ever read--clearly written, informative and free of the pompous nonsense you usually see in these (definitely read it after reading the novel, though; it gives away all the plot points). Because of this alone, I'd say this edition is more than worth the money. On the other hand, it did have a good number of typos. The book was apparently scanned with optical character recognition, judging by their nature. I found it readable, but if you're a stickler for such things, you might want to avoid this edition. Another drawback was the footnotes. They were too sparse, and a handful weren't properly tagged to jump to the footnote section. These aren't fatal flaws, but they keep reminding you you're not reading a top-notch edition. Still, for the money, I'm not sure you could do better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must have. While I have always had an affinity towards the great classics - Great Expectations, Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn 'and Tom Sawyer', Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Austen's Pride and Prejudice, etc nothing prepared me for the masterpiece that I found George Eliot's Middlemarch to be.... not even having come highly recommended, and gifted by a fellow avid reader who's interests in the classics sometimes overlay mine. MiddleMarch is an ordinary yet timeless portrayal of people, their interwoven lives, and relationships, idealisms, crises etc - essentially, it is an character rich yet simple storytelling of humanity. It is 'IMO' like a book of life. I collected favorite books for the longest time and would haul them with me whenever I moved. Recently though, I adopted a minimalistic outlook to life and have practically given away all of my favorite books that I haven't read in a while. Currently, there are only 3 favorites that sit on my shelf, and MiddleMarch is the most favored of these favorites. Once you can get past the size - I have the Barnes & Noble Classics which comes to 799 pages, you too may find this your ultimate favorite classic.
JaneClaire More than 1 year ago
Amazing novel, absolutely terrible edition!! Do NOT purchase this B&N Series edition!!! I don't know the correct names of some of the characters because they're misspelled on every other page, not to mention the ridiculous number of typos. I should be getting paid to catch all of them! It's not 1-2; it's nearly every page! Customer Service is of no use either....I've been hung up on twice, and with a twinge of irony, the last one bid me "Farewell!" before hanging up. Sigh...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book itself is a marvelous one, but it is quite obvious that whoever edited the Barnes and Noble Classics edition did not actually read what was written, as there are numerous errors.  Some are obvious typographical errors, while others are words put into the sentences that make no sense. At first, I thought it would just be a few, but the further I read the more I came across. Normally I swear by these editions, but Middlemarch is poorly done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love to read the classics but this is one of my favorites. If you find it a little slow at the beginning stick with it. The characters are so vivid and real you will be pulled into the story and identify with their experiences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have tried on 2 occasions to get thru this book, and after 100 pages or so, find it very uninteresting. I am an avid reader of the Classics and am never afraid to take on any size book, as long as the story holds my interest. Since I own this book, I will try again this winter to get thru Middlemarch,and maybe this time it will light that spark that makes the reader wish the story would never end!! If not, theres always Dickens!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amazing! The first couple hundred pages are rough, but in the end it's worth it. If you enjoy 19th century literature, this is a must-read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What makes Middlemarch so interesting, and Eliot so different from Austen, is that there are no easy ways out for the characters; their futures are not so cut-and-dried. While Dorothea is almost impossibly noble, her sister's cutting remarks and her own human weakness and warmth toward the end bring her to an understandable level. The heart agonizes for the doctor in the parallel story, but his superficiality and aloofness at times also distance him from the reader. In short, idealized characters are brought down, and 'low' characters are proven better than they first seemed, and there is real insight into the hopes and disappointments of marriage. The candid explanations of human behavior are often reminiscent of Tolstoy, another writer whose works are necessary to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I looked forward to getting 'into' this rather long volume. Unfortunately, it was just too flowery for my preference. I passed it on to a friend who thoroughly enjoyed it and would give it 5 stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Middlemarch by George Eliot. Highly recommended. It seems that it's nearly impossible to talk about Middlemarch without mentioning its breadth and scope. The irony is that the entire novel takes place within the confines of this small community and within the sometimes-small minds of its various citizens. Although a vast number of characters populate Middlemarch and its environs, each who speaks has a distinctive voice, yet does not fall into being mere type only. The horse dealer sounds like a horse dealer¿but one with a particular background and perspective. The setting itself represents every type of town, suburb, village, or neighborhood where you'll find the complacent, the critical, the aspiring, the intellectual, the earthy, the wealthy, the poor, and the worker in between. As with many English novels, the setting, in this case Middlemarch, becomes as much a central character as any other, whether it's Dorothea or Lydgate. The tapestry Eliot weaves is complex; one character's actions can affect the lives of others he or she may rarely meet, while the unknown behavior and works of Bulstrode in his youth decades ago eventually touch nearly all. How the characters come together is sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle. Dorothy's interest in Casaubon, although a puzzle to her friends and family, is painted in broad strokes to the reader; her later interest in Will Ladislaw, grows somewhat more delicately if based in the same altruistic roots. Mary Garth and Fred Vincy have, in their way, come together in their childhoods; they are still struggling with mutually agreeable terms that will allow both to acknowledge the love and affection that are already there. Lydgate and Rosamond are both more of a puzzle and less of one¿a case of two opposed personalities with opposing views, opposing goals, and opposing personalities drawn together by that most capricious of matchmakers, proximity and circumstance, to form a union that will frustrate both and satisfy neither. Against the background of these four sometimes difficult relationships (Dorothea and Casaubon with its lack of love or eros, Dorothea and Will with the barriers set by Casaubon's will and that of the Middlemarch society who frown on Will and Dorothea's association with him, Fred and Mary with her imposed restrictions to set him on the correct course in life before she can make a commitment to him, and Lydgate and Rosamond with their diametrical oppositions) is the long, happy marriage of Nicholas Bulstrode and his Vincy wife Harriet. Unlike the others, there are no visible barriers to their happiness, and they are happy as a couple¿except for the events in Bulstrode's past that haunt him in the back of his mind and then at the front with the appearance of Raffles. The marriage survives the ensuing scandal, but the individuals¿Nicholas and Harriet¿become poor shadow of their former selves. It is in a town like Middlemarch that a woman like Dorothea will find it impossible to find approbation for her plans and Bulstrode will find the antagonism of those who have come to terms with their own worldly desires. It is in a town like Middlemarch that merely the raving words of a delirium tremens-afflicted Raffles can upset the respectable work of a respectable lifetime. The downfall of Bulstrode validates the town and its modernizing secular culture. Middlemarch is a novel of insight into personality, motivations, social behaviours, and history. In the end, even the happiest characters have failed at most if not all of their youthful aspirations and have become variations on the Middlemarch theme¿husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, day-to-day toilers rather than dreamers and achievers. Middlemarch is Everytown, where you will find an example or two of Every
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful depiction of human life. While reading, I found myself immersed in the various characters, and relating what they were experiencing to people I have known as well as my own experiences. If you are a people person, this book is for you. The writing is outstanding, and the author's understanding of the human condition is amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ever so kindly posted my application.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OOC- No school! xD
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first few chapters of my copy of Middlemarch were actually from Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I don't know how a misprint like this went unnoticed. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book you will know people yourself that are exactly like the characters in the book family members too LOVED iT
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing much happened, just a lot of talking.