Few novelists have ever attempted so broad a canvas as George Eliot in her masterpiece, Middlemarch.
Portraying every level of social life in a provincial Midlands town called Middlemarch, she interweaves several intensely dramatic stories of love and death, betrayal and reconciliation, into one of the finest pictures of nineteenth-century England ever created. Its acute psychological penetration also makes it an exceptionally modern work, particularly in the romantic idealism of Dorothea Brooke, who often resembles George Eliot herself, and in the disastrous marriage and thwarted career of the young reformist doctor, Lydgate. Virginia Woolf called it “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people”—and it is truly great literature that ranks among the best novels in the world.
"No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative."—V. S. Pritchett