Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

middlemarchOh my goodness, where to begin?  Middlemarch is a book that carries so much weight, with Virginia Woolf declaring it one of the few English novels written for grown up people, and everyone I know saying how much they love it and then it’s by George Eliot  who has written some of my favourite books of all. And yet I found I was struggling; I didn’t really care about Dorothea Brooke and her grey dress, she seemed too good to be true and too earnest to ever be interesting.  But then I heard Mariella Frostrup on Open Book (BBC Radio 4) saying that she too couldn’t get past the first paragraph and the advice given to her was to just keep reading – so I did, and somehow around the time Will Ladislaw appeared I was hooked and over a couple of very hot weeks in July it became my constant companion, sitting on a bench in the garden, drink in one hand Middlemarch in the other.

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