What would happen if I stopped to consider how Middlemarch has shaped my understanding of my own life? Why did the novel still feel so urgent, after all these years? And what could it give me now, as I paused here in the middle of things, and surveyed where I had come from, and thought about where I was, and wondered where I might go next?
At the age of 17, Rebecca Mead read Middlemarch for the first time, and has read it again every five years since, interpreting and discovering it anew each time. In The Road to Middlemarch she writes passionately about her relationship with this remarkable Victorian novel - loved by so many - and explores how its characters and their stories, along with George Eliot's own life experiences, can answer some of our fundamental questions about life and love.
Middlemarch has at its centre one of literature's most compelling and ill-fated marriages, and some of the most tenderly drawn characters. Mead explores how Middlemarch teaches us to be grown-ups, and to value our ordinary lives. The Road to Middlemarch is a sensitive work of deep reading and biography, for every reader of literature who cares about why we read books and how they read us.The Selling of the American Wedding. She lives in Brooklyn.
'A perfectly composed offering of literary love and self-observation. I adored it.' Elizabeth Gilbert
'A wise, humane and delightful study of what some regard as the best novel in English.' Harold Bloom
'In this deeply satisfying hybrid work of literary criticism, biography, and memoir, New Yorker staff writer Mead brings to vivid life the profound engagement that she and all devoted readers experience with a favorite novel over a lifetime...Passionate readers, even those new to Middlemarch, will relish this book.' Publishers Weekly
'A rare and remarkable fusion of techniques that draws two women together across time and space.' starred review Kirkus Reviews
'Rebecca Mead is tough-minded and has a reporter's impatience with mush. In My Life in Middlemarch, she gives us several unlikely things at once - a lively reading of George Eliot's novel, an intimate portrait of Eliot herself, and a book about the consolations of getting older.' Paris Review
'Mead beautifully conveys the excitement of living in a novel, of knowing its characters as if they breathed, of revisiting them over time and seeing them differently. She conveys, too, not at all heavy-handedly, the particular relation one develops with an author whose work one loves.' Bookforum
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 29th January 2014