100 Best Novels: No 21 – Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871-2) | George Eliot

Middlemarch it is one of those books that can exert a hypnotic power over its readers. Several other titles in this series evoke an equally strong response. For example, in 1873, the poet Emily Dickinson addressed the story, writing in a letter: “What I think Middlemarch? What do I think of honor – except for a few times ‘this person [George Eliot] put in immortality.”

Moving his admirers to rhapsody, Middlemarch it is also an important task. According to Virginia Woolf, it is “one of the few English books written for adults”. Later in the 20th century, the influential critic FR Leavis did Middlemarch an important part of his “Great Tradition”. Today, it is the most important of the great Victorian novels.

George Eliot’s masterpiece, Middlemarch, appeared after the deaths of Thackeray (1863) and Dickens (1870). This is not an accident. Called “a study of provincial life”, the novel is a didactic realism in a distant world. Vanity Fair or otherwise Great Hope. it’s true, Middlemarch On the literary landscape of mid-Victorian is like a cathedral of words in the shade of which its readers can see every kind of pain, a kind of real truths: the loneliness of failure, Dr Lydgate; the torture of his annoying wife; the humiliation of the beautiful woman, Dorothea; Casaubon’s bittersweet, etc.

Few of Eliot’s words fulfill their true purpose, and all must learn to change. Some learn lessons and find temporary happiness. Some refuse to learn, and spend their lives resenting their situation and blaming others. And some people are aware of their sins but are trapped by the wrong decision and will not escape. Dr Lydgate is a great example of Middlemarch: dying young, a bitter and disappointed man who found out he married the wrong woman and couldn’t do anything about it.

The work was done about 40 years before the time of the song’s composition. Making allusions to the death of George IV, cholera epidemics and the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832, his subjects discuss the advent of the railway and its impact on of business in a Midland English world. Here, the sample setting of Middlemarch becomes a “system”, Eliot represents the British society in its complex and stable form.

In the middle of this site we see what all the readers are like Middlemarch argue and understand with the fascinating portrait of Dorothea, the wife of the heartbroken Rev Edward Casaubon. Dorothea becomes a true heroine because – despite her pain, her weaknesses and her pain – she tries to be a good person, and do the right thing. Lydgate sees this and realizes that he is deeply saddened by the nature of the woman he married and the nature of his life. To a large extent, the fate of Dorothea (and also the sufferings inflicted by Rosamond Vincy) plays into one of the main themes of the story, which is women in a patriarchal society.

There are no easy decisions in a great novel. Some readers will be dismayed to learn that, in later chapters, Dorothea finds herself fulfilling her role for Will Ladislaw when he becomes a reforming MP. But Eliot’s final speech is a famous and deeply moving valedictory page celebrating Dorothea’s “good touch spirit.” Here, Eliot concludes “the end of [Dorothea’s] knowing the unknown. and things are not so good for you and me as they have been, for half the number of people have lived a secret life, and rest in known tombs It’s not allowed.”

A letter in the text

In early 1869, George Eliot listed her works for the coming year in her diary, including “A Novel Called Middlemarch”. However, progress was slow, hampered by the terminal illness of Thornie Lewes, the second son of her husband George Henry Lewes. By September, only three chapters of the novel had been completed, and by the time Thornie died in November 1869, Eliot had stopped working on a novel that was now just research. also of the Middlemarch company, with Lydgate, the physician, a. his unloved wife Rosamond Vincy is the main character.

However, more than a year later, in November 1870, he began to work on a new story called “Miss Brooke”, which introduced Dorothea. Finally, Eliot combines Dorothea’s story with the Lydgate-Vincy story, and begins to reveal the full glory of the Middlemarch to us today.

Because the work became so different from the Victorian “three-decker” novel that Lewes, as an agent for his friend, asked John Blackwood, the publisher, to start the book. in eight parts, in two months from December 1871. By the time Blackwood was approved, eight volumes had appeared in 1872, finishing the last chapters in November and December 1872, while the title page of the first edition is dated 1871. Middlemarch It was quickly recognized as a masterpiece, and secured Eliot’s high place in the pantheon of English literature. The first edition was published in 1874, and sold well to an enthusiastic reading public. In 2003 the novel was voted number 27 in the BBC survey “the Big Read”.

Some names are George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss (1860); Silas Marner (1861); Daniel Deronda (1874-6)

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: