I’m planning to do a re-read of Middlemarch in December, if anyone would be interested in joining me. You all know how much I like having someone to read the classics with, especially when they are on the long-ish side.
In the fictional town of Middlemarch, selflessness, social reform, and romantic love struggle to survive against human foolishness, economic missteps, and societal ideals. Young and intelligent, Dorothea Brooke hastily marries Casaubon, a middle-aged scholar working tirelessly on his “masterpiece,” The Key to All Mythologies. Their union soon sours, and Dorothea becomes trapped in a difficult situation that worsens upon the death of her husband. Elsewhere in town, Tertius Lydgate, an idealistic young doctor, is caught in an ill-fated union with the sweet but superficial Rosamund Vincy. Intertwined within the lives of these two unfortunate couples is the handsome artist Will Ladislaw, who is sympathetic to Lydgate’s ideas about science and medicine, and who develops feelings for his uncle’s wife—Dorthea Brooke.
If you’re interested in joining in, here’s how I plan to break up the reading:
Week 1 (Dec. 1-7) – Books I & II
Week 2 (Dec. 8-14) – Books III & IV
Week 3 (Dec. 15-21) – Books V & VI
Week 4 (Dec. 22-28) – Books VII & VIII
Week 5 (Dec. 29-31) – Catch-up/wrap-up week
If you can’t keep up with that schedule, no worries–just jump in whenever. I’ll put up my thoughts on the week’s reading in a Sunday post, and then I’ll do a wrap-up at the end of the month. If you want to chat about it on twitter, we’ll use the hashtag #middlemarch13.
I do hope you’ll read along with me! And if you need some more convincing:
Virginia Woolf gave the book unstinting praise, describing Middlemarch as “the magnificent book that, with all its imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” Martin Amis has described it as the greatest novel in the English language.