The most ambitious narrative of nineteenth-century realism, Middlemarch
tells the story of an entire town in the years leading up to the Reform Bill of 1832, a time when modern methods were starting to challenge old orthodoxies. Eliot’s sophisticated and acute characterization gives rich expression to every nuance of feeling, and vividly brings to life the town’s inhabitants – including the young idealist Dorothea Brooke, the dry scholar Casaubon, the young, passionate reformist doctor Lydgate, the flighty young beauty Rosamond and the old, secretive banker Bulstrode – as they move in counterpoint to each other.
Art, religion, politics, society, science, human relationships in all their complexity, nothing is left unexamined under the narrator’s microscope. One of the greatest novels written in the English language, Middlemarch
is a literary landmark in its groundbreaking approach, as well as a priceless document of its age.
'The magnificent book, which with all its imperfections, is one of the few English books written for grown-up people.' Virginia Woolf
Read an excerpt from Middlemarch