George Eliot: Middlemarch

(2224 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

George Eliot's epic novel Middlemarch was published by Blackwoods in 8 parts from December 1871 to December 1872, and as a 4-volume novel in the following year. It was begun when Eliot amalgamated two separate stories: the first concerning a doctor passionate about medical reform, and the second about a young woman passionate about scholarship. The novel took Eliot nearly 5 years to complete and the recent publication of her notebooks has now revealed the extraordinary extent of her research into areas such as the history of medical reform in the 1830s, and the most recent work on the nature of mythology.

Though Middlemarch is a small provincial village it is also a microcosm of society at large. At the top of the …

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Uglow, Nathan. "Middlemarch". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2002
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]