Features Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfillment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; and the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career.
Middlemarch is a moving story of men and women longing to do the right thing, but making bad decisions. Among them is Dorothea Brooke, who wants to improve the world but finds her idealism crushed by her unhappy marriage to the aged scholar Casaubon, and Dr Lydgate, whose shallow, spendthrift wife threatens his dreams of medical progress. Described by Virginia Woolf as 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people', Middlemarch's panoramic sweep ranges over the whole of human existence - art, faith, science, politics and love - yet at its heart are real, flawed people searching for contentment.
Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) (1819-80) was a philosopher, journalist and translator before she became a novelist, her first stories being published in 1856. She led an unconventional life, co-editing the liberal journal Westminster Review for three years and living with the married man and philosopher George Henry Lewes. Her novels are among the greatest of the nineteenth century. The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner and Daniel Deronda are all published in the Penguin English Library.