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Penguin Classics, 2011 - Fiction - 852 pages
"A novel 'with a double plot interest. The heroine, Dorothea Brooke, longs to devote herself to some great cause and, for a time, expects to find it in her marriage to Rev. Mr. Casaubon, an aging scholar. Mr. Casaubon lives only eighteen months after their marriage, a sufficient period to disillusion her completely. He leaves her his estate, with the ill-intentioned proviso that she will forfeit if she marries his young cousin Will Ladislaw, whom she had seen frequently in Rome. Endeavoring to find happiness without Ladislaw, whom she has come to care for deeply, Dorothea throws herself into the struggle for medical reforms advocated by the young Dr. Lydgate. Finally, however, she decides to give up her property and marry Ladislaw. The second plot deals with the efforts and failure of Dr. Lydgate to live up to his early ideals.'" Reader's Ency. 4th ed. *** "The lives of three people in a nineteenth-century provincial community become entwined as crusader Dorothea Brooke is prevented from being with the man she loves, the idealistic Dr. Lydgate succumbs to materialism, and religioius hypocrite Bulstrode tries to hide his past crimes."

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About the author (2011)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans Cross) was born on November 22, 1819 at Arbury Farm, Warwickshire, England. She received an ordinary education and, upon leaving school at the age of sixteen, embarked on a program of independent study to further her intellectual growth. In 1841 she moved with her father to Coventry, where the influences of “skeptics and rationalists” swayed her from an intense religious devoutness to an eventual break with the church. The death of her father in 1849 left her with a small legacy and the freedom to pursue her literary inclinations. In 1851 she became the assistant editor of the Westminster Review, a position she held for three years. In 1854 came the fated meeting with George Henry Lewes, the gifted editor of The Leader, who was to become her adviser and companion for the next twenty-four years. Her first book, Scenes of a Clerical Life (1858), was followed by Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), and Middlemarch (1872). The death of Lewes, in 1878, left her stricken and lonely. On May 6, 1880, she married John Cross, a friend of long standing, and after a brief illness she died on December 22 of that year, in London.
Rosemary Ashton, Professor of English Literature at University College, London, is the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of Middlemarch.

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