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George Eliot's Middlemarch (1871-72) is one of the classic novels of English literature and was admired by Virginia Woolf as "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people." The complex main plot and many subplots revolve around Dorothea Brooke, an ardent young woman, and her relationship to three men: Casaubon, a clergyman and scholar twice her age; Lydgate, an ambitious young doctor who shares Dorothea's enthusiasm for reform but whose flaws compromise his ambitions; and Will Ladislaw, a young man of mysterious origins, romantic temperament, and artistic inclinations. A female Bildungsroman and a study of character and society in the realistic mode pioneered by Balzac, Middlemarch is also an historical novel that offers a panorama of English society in an era of social reform and political agitation. This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and a rich selection of contextual materials, including contemporary reviews of the novel, other writings by George Eliot (essays, reviews, and criticism), and historical documents pertaining to medical reform, religious freedom, and the advent of the railroads.
Table of Contents
A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life
Appendix A: George Eliot's Essays, Reviews, and Criticism
``Woman in France: Madame de Sable,'' Westminster Review (October 1854)
``The Morality of Wilhelm Meister,'' The Leader (21 July 1855)
``Margaret Fuller and Mary Wollstonecraft,'' The Leader (13 October 1855)
Review of John Ruskin's Modern Painters (1856), Westminster Review (April 1856)
``The Natural History of German Life,'' Westminster Review (July 1856)
``Silly Novels by Lady Novelists,'' Westminster Review (October 1856)
Appendix B: Contemporary Reviews of Middlemarch
Edward Dowden, ``George Eliot,'' Contemporary Review (August 1872)
Richard Holt Hutton, review of Middlemarch, Spectator (7 December 1872)
Edith Simcox, ``Middlemarch'', Academy (1 January 1873)