Middlemarchby George Elliot
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This novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during the period 1830-32. It has a multiple plot with a large cast of characters, and in addition to its distinct though interlocking narratives, it pursues a number of underlying themes, including the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism and self-interest, religion and hypocrisy, political reform, and education. The pace is leisurely, the tone is mildly didactic (with an authorial voice that occasionally bursts through the narrative), and the canvas is very broad.
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