Middlemarch (Penguin Classics)

Middlemarch (Penguin Classics)

George Eliot

Language: English

Pages: 880

ISBN: 0141439548

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


George Eliot's Victorian masterpiece: a magnificent portrait of a provincial town and its inhabitants

George Eliot’s novel, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, explores a fictional nineteenth-century Midlands town in the midst of modern changes. The proposed Reform Bill promises political change; the building of railroads alters both the physical and cultural landscape; new scientific approaches to medicine incite public division; and scandal lurks behind respectability. The quiet drama of ordinary lives and flawed choices are played out in the complexly portrayed central characters of the novel—the idealistic Dorothea Brooke; the ambitious Dr. Lydgate; the spendthrift Fred Vincy; and the steadfast Mary Garth. The appearance of two outsiders further disrupts the town’s equilibrium—Will Ladislaw, the spirited nephew of Dorothea’s husband, the Rev. Edward Casaubon, and the sinister John Raffles, who threatens to expose the hidden past of one of the town’s elite. Middlemarch displays George Eliot’s clear-eyed yet humane understanding of characters caught up in the mysterious unfolding of self-knowledge. This Penguin Classics edition uses the second edition of 1874 and features an introduction and notes by Eliot-biographer Rosemary Ashton. In her introduction, Ashton discusses themes of social change in Middlemarch, and examines the novel as an imaginative embodiment of Eliot's humanist beliefs.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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in a husband if he has got no other. I would rather have a good second husband than an indifferent first.’ ‘My dear, your clever tongue runs away with you,’ said Lady Chettam. ‘I am sure you would be the last woman to marry again prematurely, if our dear Rector were taken away.’ ‘Oh, I make no vows; it might be a necessary economy. It is lawful to marry again, I suppose; else we might as well be Hindoos instead of Christians. Of course if a woman accepts the wrong man, she must take the

do to prevent her from suffering annoyance. And she wrote what she considered the most judicious letter possible – one which would strike Sir Godwin as a proof of her excellent sense – pointing out how desirable it was that Tertius should quit such a place as Middlemarch for one more fitted to his talents, how the unpleasant character of the inhabitants had hindered his professional success, and how in consequence he was in money difficulties, from which it would require a thousand pounds

she should unlock it ready to go down to her unhappy husband and espouse his sorrow, and say of his guilt, I will mourn and not reproach. But she needed time to gather up her strength; she needed to sob out her farewell to all the gladness and pride of her life. When she had resolved to go down, she prepared herself by some little acts which might seem mere folly to a hard onlooker; they were her way of expressing to all spectators visible or invisible that she had begun a new life in which she

sum for that purpose. Here is his letter.’ The letter seemed to cut Mrs Bulstrode severely. The mention of Mrs Casaubon’s loan seemed a reflection of that public feeling which held it a matter of course that every one would avoid a connection with her husband. She was silent for some time; and the tears fell one after the other, her chin trembling as she wiped them away. Bulstrode, sitting opposite her, ached at the sight of that grief-worn face, which two months before had been bright and

is an ill-intentioned fellow, who would sacrifice the respectability of the profession, which everybody knows depends on the London Colleges, for the sake of getting some notoriety for himself. There are men who don’t mind about being kicked blue if they can only get talked about. But Wakley is right sometimes,’ the Doctor added, judicially. ‘I could mention one or two points in which Wakley is in the right.’ ‘Oh, well,’ said Mr Chichely, ‘I blame no man for standing up in favour of his own

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