About This Book
Writing at the very moment when the foundations of Western thought were being challenged and undermined, George Eliot fashions in Middlemarch (1871-2), the quintessential Victorian novel, a concept of life and society free of the dogma of the past yet able to confront the scepticism that was taking over the age. In a panoramic sweep of English life during the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Eliot explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful and egoistic; Edward Casaubon, the dry-as-dust scholar; Tertius Lydgate, the brilliant but morally flawed physician; the passionate artist, Will Ladislaw; and Fred Vincy and Mary Garth, the childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel's rich comic vein. Felicia Bonaparte has provided a new introduction to this updated edition, the text of which is taken from the Clarendon critical edition.