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Topic: Middlemarch

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Subject: Middlemarch
Date Posted: 11/19/2012 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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I have been looking for a new old author to explore, and happened across a quote by George Eliot. I wondered if Middlemarch was the way to go? It looks long, which could help get me through winter. How is the mood? Is there a different Eliot you would suggest instead, or, as well? I tend to read a few books of the same author as I explore them. Any suggestions or comments would be helpful, thanks!

 

Date Posted: 11/19/2012 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Lora:  I read that long novel for a previous Classics Challenge, and am satisfied to have done so.  Eliot is an author with a social conscience, even if some of the 'reforms'  that her poor benighted 'do-gooder' heroine wanted to put in place seem kind of paternalistic to us today. 

I do find, when reading a book from an earlier century, it's a good idea not even to try to read "apace".  Eliot, like other 18th and 19th century writers, was kinda long-winded, and reportorial as to who visited whom and what transpired in the conversations. 

Back in those days, when entertainment was the dinner parties, or fox hunts, or opera, or "musicales", or balls (for those who could afford them), if one added  reading to the mix, one would purchase a book in the expectation that it would  last for many afternoons or evenings.  So, get a bookmark, Lora, and relax and take your time for a whole lotta winter reading sessions . . . warm regards, Mizzou



Last Edited on: 11/19/12 6:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/20/2012 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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I thought Middlemarch was tedious. 

I would suggest reading other works by Charlotte Bronte: Villette, for instance, is excellent.

                                                                                  Rose

Date Posted: 11/20/2012 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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Oh, I loved Middlemarch.

A lot of it is about how one can be led astray by one's best impulses - about self-delusion and bad choices. Eliot is really, really smart and she writes for grown ups, which is refreshing.

Date Posted: 11/21/2012 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
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Middlemarch is my favourite book, ever... and if you're trying Eliot, it is one of the more accessible ones and as far as plot goes, the by far the best. Stay away from Romola and Daniel Deronda and Felix Holt if you haven't read Eliot before, they are far too prosy and long-winded and just dull and overly Victorian in spots. They are also very 'themed' and sometimes the theme she's preaching on gets in the way a bit. The Mill on the Floss is worth reading, so is Adam Bede, but I say go for Middlemarch. It's a great book! If I was stranded on a desert island and could take only one.... Middlemarch would be it.

 

Date Posted: 12/19/2012 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
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Well, I've been working my way slowly through this and enjoying it...except that I find myself having the internal conversations within my own head that these characters are having! I mean, it isn't exactly quiet in my head, but now I find myself with this 'classic lit narration track' as well!

Date Posted: 12/20/2012 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Ha ha ha , Lora!    So now you're 'hearing' voices?

Date Posted: 12/20/2012 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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Indeed- socially stratified, properly educated, British accented, voices!!! :)

Date Posted: 2/28/2013 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
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Update- I finished! It took me from Nov 24 to Feb 18 to read it. It did just what I wanted, get me through winter. It was amazing to delve so deeply into the human condition.

Date Posted: 2/28/2013 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Lora:  If you decide to read another Eliot novel (having finished Middlemarch), may I suggest Adam Bede?   That was the second Eliot novel that I read, and I found it interesting for its depiction of an 'honest workman" and a female preacher and the other characters surrounding them.

Date Posted: 3/2/2013 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
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I'll have to keep that in mind. I noticed I have Silas Marner on my shelf, and thought I might read that one when I next read another Eliot. I had to read it in H.S., and I remember discovering I actually sorta liked something that was assigned, so I'd like to revisit that one. I have to say, I will be exploring her writing more. I liked Middlemarch.