Middlemarch

ISBN-10: 0393092100
ISBN-13: 9780393092103
Edition: N/A
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Description: The text of Middlemarch is that of the 1874 edition, the last corrected by the author. For this new edition, the text has been reset in a larger typeface for ease of reading. "Backgrounds" helps readers understand Eliot's ideas on life and art with  More...

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Book details

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 770
Size: 5.16" wide x 8.31" long x 0.44" tall
Weight: 1.628

The text of Middlemarch is that of the 1874 edition, the last corrected by the author. For this new edition, the text has been reset in a larger typeface for ease of reading. "Backgrounds" helps readers understand Eliot's ideas on life and art with generous selections from her letters, journals, essays, and other fictional works. "Contemporary Reviews" records the impressions of Sidney Colvin, Henry James, Joseph Jacobs, and Leslie Stephen. "Recent Criticism" collects eleven essays-seven of them new to this edition-which center on the novel's major themes. Contributors include Mark Schorer, Jerome Beaty, Cherry Wilhelm, Robert Heilman, Lee R. Edwards, Alan Mintz, T. R. Wright, Matthew Rich, Alan Shelston, and Claudia Moscovici. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.

George Eliot was born Mary Ann Evans on a Warwickshire farm in England, where she spent almost all of her early life. She received a modest local education and was particularly influenced by one of her teachers, an extremely religious woman whom the novelist would later use as a model for various characters. Eliot read extensively, and was particularly drawn to the romantic poets and German literature. In 1849, after the death of her father, she went to London and became assistant editor of the Westminster Review, a radical magazine. She soon began publishing sketches of country life in London magazines. At about his time Eliot began her lifelong relationship with George Henry Lewes. A married man, Lewes could not marry Eliot, but they lived together until Lewes's death. Eliot's sketches were well received, and soon after she followed with her first novel, Adam Bede (1859). She took the pen name "George Eliot" because she believed the public would take a male author more seriously. Like all of Eliot's best work, The Mill on the Floss (1860), is based in large part on her own life and her relationship with her brother. In it she begins to explore male-female relations and the way people's personalities determine their relationships with others. She returns to this theme in Silas Mariner (1861), in which she examines the changes brought about in life and personality of a miser through the love of a little girl. In 1863, Eliot published Romola. Set against the political intrigue of Florence, Italy, of the 1490's, the book chronicles the spiritual journey of a passionate young woman. Eliot's greatest achievement is almost certainly Middlemarch (1871). Here she paints her most detailed picture of English country life, and explores most deeply the frustrations of an intelligent woman with no outlet for her aspirations. This novel is now regarded as one of the major works of the Victorian era and one of the greatest works of fiction in English. Eliot's last work was Daniel Deronda. In that work, Daniel, the adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman, gradually becomes interested in Jewish culture and then discovers his own Jewish heritage. He eventually goes to live in Palestine. Because of the way in which she explored character and extended the range of subject matter to include simple country life, Eliot is now considered to be a major figure in the development of the novel. She is buried in Highgate Cemetery, North London, England, next to her common-law husband, George Henry Lewes.

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