George Eliot tackles the timeless problems of life in a small community in her classic novel Middlemarch. First off, Eliot tackles young romance and the sometimes misguided approach to marriage. Dorothea becomes enamored of a much older man, Mr. Casaubon, because he appears, to her, to be a brilliant intellectual. After marriage and after Dorothy matures intellectually, she discovers that he isn’t so brilliant after all, and begins to feel disdain for the man she married. Fred Vincy is enamored with Mary Garth, only she is convinced he’s too lazy to reach his full potential. Lastly, a young doctor comes to town, Dr. Lydgate, and in spite of his 5 year plan to delay marriage until he is more settled, he falls for the beautiful Rosamond Vincy, and immediately marries her. Rosamond, who has expensive tastes and no dowry, quickly becomes disillusioned with her marriage, as the couple feels the strain of oppressive debt.
From start to finish, Middlemarch was highly entertaining with happy endings for all. Despite it’s 900 pages, I’m glad I took the time to read it.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1871
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