Dear Library Patrons, NYPL is an essential provider for free books, classes, and services in the world’s most vibrant and diverse city. Now more than ever we need dedicated individuals like you to help us keep the Library’s vital services free for all New Yorkers. Help us get 1,500 Friends of the Library members by March 1.



Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Oxford University Press
This panoramic work--considered the finest novel in English by many critics--offers a complex look at English provincial life at a crucial historical moment, and, at the same time, dramatizes and explores some of the most potent myths of Victorian literature.

Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but näive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful and egoistic: Edward Casaubon, the dry-as-dust scholar: Tertius Lydgate, the brilliant but morally-flawed physician: the passionate artist Will Ladislaw: and Fred Vincey and Mary Garth, childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel's rich comic vein.

Felicia Bonaparte has provided a new Introduction for this updated edition, the text of which is taken from David Carroll's ClarendonMiddlemarch (1986), the first critical edition.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Series that include this title

Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008, c1996
ISBN: 9780199536757
Branch Call Number: FIC E
Characteristics: li, 810 p. ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Carroll, David 1932-


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Quote

Dec 29, 2014
  • Hadley rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

People are almost always better than their neighbors think they are.

May 09, 2014
  • DENNIS E HENLEY rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.

May 17, 2010
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

May 17, 2010
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

For in the multitude of middle-aged men who go about their vocations in a daily course determined for them much in the same way as the tie of their cravats, there is always a good number who once meant to shape their own deeds and alter the world a little. The story of their coming to be shapen after the average and fit to be packed by the gross is hardly ever told even in their consciousness; for perhaps their ardour in generous unpaid toil cooled as imperceptibly as the ardour of other youthful loves, till one day their earlier self walked like a ghost in its old home and made the new furniture ghastly.

May 17, 2010
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

She herself was accustomed to think that entire freedom from the necessity of behaving agreeably was included in the Almighty’s intentions about families.

May 17, 2010
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

It is a little too trying to human flesh to be conscious of expressing one’s self better than others and never to have it noticed.

Jul 26, 2009
  • vickiz rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

Jul 25, 2009
  • vickiz rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbours.


Add a Comment

Jun 19, 2013
  • GerryD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This novel is #11 on my researched Top Classic Novels. I won't attempt to add to the excellent summaries already provided. The novel was written from 1871 to 1872, a decade after another of her popular novels "The Mill on the Floss". As mentioned in my Comment on Bronte's "Wuthering Heights", it was difficult for women to publish using their own names during this period. Even at the end of the 1800's, Mary Ann Evans was publishing her works under what would be assumed to be a man's name. See my GerryD Lists for more great novels.

May 17, 2010
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A lot happened while I walked leisurely and longly through the pastures of Middlemarch. I wrote this inside the front cover of my copy:

"This book was in my suitcase while I experienced zero gravity above Las Vegas.

It traveled in my backpack to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

I turned 30 somewhere halfway through it.

Then Rolf and I got two cats together.

I was almost finished reading it when Ryan died."

Middlemarch was such an appropriate book to read while that much life was happening. Virginia Woolf described it as “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people” and this is absolutely a novel for and about adulthood. Eliot’s choice words drill so far down into the core of being a human adult that her passages are timeless.

May 11, 2010
  • meaganpeters4 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A very well written and entertaining read!

Dec 05, 2009
  • macierules rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I feel a bit silly writing a review about Middlemarch - let's just say I am very happy that I took the time finally to read it.

Loved the tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, I could practically hear George Eliot chuckling away as she was writing it. Reminded me of a 19th century Jerry Seinfeld, poking fun at all sorts of universal truths.

Her characters and the understanding of human relationships were completely real.

Jul 26, 2009
  • vickiz rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"Middlemarch" is deservedly considered a classic, and an exemplar of the art of the novel. Eliot takes on an immense amount thematically, does much of it justice and somehow manages to balance broad issues with in-depth, affecting and authentic portrayals of a captivating array of characters. While the central and some peripheral characters serve to further Eliot's interest in social, political, gender, scientific and religious issues, all figures throughout the novel are etched as believable human beings, not just as one-dimensional symbols serving some more general purpose. There are no black-and-white heroes/heroines or villains, but all are presented as well-rounded individuals with strengths, weaknesses and foibles.

The chapter describing how incendiary gossip about two prominent figures spreads through the community and evolves into fact is a tour de force of plot momentum - acerbic, brilliant and exhilarating to read. In other words, Eliot's mastery of theme and character do not at all mean that she gives plot short shrift.

While the ending sews up the fates of the main characters, there are surprises and debatable resolutions right to the very end. This book satisfies on so many levels, and sends the reader off with much about which to ponder.


Add a Summary

Dorothea Brooke marries a much older man and must come to terms with her life.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at NYPL


Other Formats

Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further

Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings



Powered by BiblioCommons.
app03 Version musli Last updated 2015/02/24 14:10