George Eliot's Middlemarch (1871-72) is one of the classic novels of English literature and was admired by Virginia Woolf as "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people." The complex main plot and many subplots revolve around Dorothea Brooke, an ardent young woman, and her relationship to three men: Casaubon, a clergyman and scholar twice her age; Lydgate, an ambitious young doctor who shares Dorothea's enthusiasm for reform but whose flaws compromise his ambitions; and Will Ladislaw, a young man of mysterious origins, romantic temperament, and artistic inclinations. A female Bildungsroman and a study of character and society in the realistic mode pioneered by Balzac, Middlemarch is also an historical novel that offers a panorama of English society in an era of social reform and political agitation.
This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and a rich selection of contextual materials, including contemporary reviews of the novel, other writings by George Eliot (essays, reviews, and criticism), and historical documents pertaining to medical reform, religious freedom, and the advent of the railroads.
Broadview Press and editor Gregory Maertz have produced a text whose rich but judicious contextual annotation, notably highlighting Eliot's deep immersion in German culture, makes this a crucial edition of what is arguably the greatest Victorian novel of them all. - Michael McKeon, Rutgers University "Gregory Maertz's fine new edition of Middlemarch allows readers to consider the novel in relation to a range of documents--reviews and other writings by George Eliot, contemporary reviews of the novel, and contextual material. This additional material both enriches our reading of the novel and its concerns and expands our knowledge of the period." - Mark Turner, King's College London