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Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) (1819-80) was a philosopher, journalist and translator before she became a novelist, her first stories being published in 1856. She led an unconventional life, co-editing the liberal journal Westminster Review for three years and living with the married man and philosopher George Henry Lewes. Her novels are among the greatest of the nineteenth century
One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World' 'One of the few English novels written for grown-up people' Virginia Woolf George Eliot's nuanced and moving novel is a masterly evocation of connected lives, changing fortunes and human frailties in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfilment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; Dr Lydgate, whose pioneering medical methods, combined with an imprudent marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamond, threaten to undermine his career; and the religious hypocrite Bulstrode, hiding scandalous crimes from his past. Edited with an Introduction and notes by ROSEMARY ASHTON
Meet the residents of Middlemarch and view human nature as a number of relationships unfold. George Eliot set her novel some 40 years before it was written, and her overview of the times ensures a full-bodied novel with political and social commentary. She allows us to see flaws, she opens up the reality and frailty of human emotions and yet I don’t feel as though she makes judgement which makes this such a wonderful novel to sink into and experience. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.