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Middlemarch (Harper Perennial Deluxe Editions) (Paperback)
George Eliot’s beloved classic novel—hailed by Virginia Woolf as “masterful”—follows the life, loves, foibles, and politics of the residents of a fictional English town set amid the social unrest of the Industrial Revolution. This Harper Perennial Deluxe Edition includes an introduction by award-winning author Francine Prose.
Dorothea Brooke married Edward Casaubon—a clergyman and scholar some years her senior—naively hoping their union would be a true meeting of the minds. Trapped in a lonely marriage to a tyrannical man, she finds companionship with Edward’s cousin, but her overtures risk her spotless reputation and jeopardize her future.
Young doctor Tertius Lydgate comes to Middlemarch full of progressive ideas, eager to volunteer his skill at the local hospital. Through his connections there he meets the mayor’s beautiful daughter, Rosamond Vincy, and marries her, only to face financial ruin at the hands of her materialism and overwhelming vanity.
Rosamond’s brother, Fred, is destined for the Church to improve his family’s class standing, but his childhood sweetheart, Mary Garth, refuses to marry him unless he pursues a more suitable career. Forced by fate into uncertain financial circumstances, Fred must question his choices and desires if he hopes to earn Mary’s respect.
God-fearing and esteemed, Nicholas Bulstrode is a good man and trustworthy banker—or so it appears until an old enemy comes to town, intent on revealing Bulstrode’s shady past dealings. Terrified of being exposed as a hypocrite, he takes matters into his own hands, each desperate act spiraling him further into disgrace and corruption.
A masterwork of fiction, Middlemarch traces these four lives in a plot that illuminates the social fabric of mid-nineteenth-century England. Looming above the landscape of Victorian literature, Eliot’s beloved novel explores the perennial struggle between individual and society, integrity and temptation, and is as timely today as when it was first published.
About the Author
George Eliot was the pseudonym for Mary Anne Evans, one of the leading writers of the Victorian era, who published seven major novels and several translations during her career. She started her career as a sub-editor for the left-wing journal The Westminster Review, contributing politically charged essays and reviews before turning her attention to novels. Among Eliot’s best-known works are Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, in which she explores aspects of human psychology, focusing on the rural outsider and the politics of small-town life. Eliot died in 1880.
Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction, including Mister Monkey; the New York Times bestseller Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; A Changed Man, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim, a Fulbright, and a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, she is a former president of PEN American Center and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York City.