Set during the early part of the 19th century, George Eliot’s “Middlemarch” is a work of epic scope that centers on the intersecting lives of the inhabitants of the fictitious titular town of Middlemarch. The themes of the novel are as numerous as its characters.
Through the narrative of the story the author addresses the status of women, the nature of marriage, politics, religion, and education in the 19th century. The story is principally concerned with the lives of Dorothea Brooke, an energetic, intelligent, wealthy young woman and of Tertius Lydgate, an idealistic, talented, yet naïve young doctor.
Strong parallels can be drawn between the two characters; they both have great aspirations in their work and find themselves in marriages in which they are not happy with. In addition, numerous sub-plots draw together the lives of the inhabitants of the town. Considered one of the great achievements of English literature, George Eliot’s “Middlemarch” was immensely popular upon its original publication and remains to this day one of the finest examples of the author’s prolific and accomplished literary career.
About the Author
Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880; alternatively “Mary Anne” or “Marian”), known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), Middlemarch (1871-72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.