Readalong: Middlemarch by George Eliot

middlemarchI’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.

30 thoughts on “Readalong: Middlemarch by George Eliot

  1. lauratfrey

    I was planning to read this in Dec. anyway, and was toying with doing a read-along on the blog, but I’d much rather join you! Too busy in Dec to do the hosting duties 🙂 It’s a first time read for me. Very excited!

    1. Too Fond Post author

      Yes! So glad to hear you can join in. I’ve read it once before but it was many moons ago, so I’ve forgotten a lot about the story. If you want to do a guest post at some point during the month, just let me know.

  2. Rohan Maitzen

    I was excited to hear about this via Twitter! I reread Middlemarch as often as I can and it’s always got something more in it for me. In case it’s helpful, here’s the link to the website I made called ‘MIDDLEMARCH for Book Clubs’ — there are discussion questions for each book which might prompt some posts, and there’s a family tree and some other ‘supporting’ materials. Have fun rereading!

    1. Ekaterina

      It’s a really nice source! I’ve seen it before and was thinking I need to find it again to share here when I saw you’d already done this! 🙂 Less work for me 🙂

  3. Ekaterina

    I’m IN! I tried to read in in spring, but failed miserably 😦 So I hope the read-a-long will help me get through it! I’m only worried that the pace is too much for me, especially as December is a busy month for students… But we’ll see! 🙂 Thanks for hosting!

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  5. Santwana

    Hello to all.. I am a new comer here. This is an exciting challenge. I love classics and I had been longing to read Middlemarch for ages after my best friend told me that she loved it. But the size was always daunting to me. Its good to find so many people to read along with 🙂 I am in.

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  7. BookerTalk

    This is one of my all time favourites. Rohan’s site is a wonderful resource for ideas on how to think about this novel. The other suggestion for your group is to think about the preface. What is Eliot trying to tell us about her ‘heroine’?

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  10. Jaclyn

    I’m in! I’ve been wanting to read Middlemarch for years, and this seems like the perfect opportunity. We’re be spending the holidays with my side of the family, which means plenty of people who will be only too happy to baby-wrangle while I read!

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  12. severalfourmany

    I pulled Middlemarch out last summer with hopes of reading it again. It’s a bit of a project and I have not yet found the time to do it justice. I was planning on waiting until the new year but just might try to fit it in so I can read along. Thanks for the extra push!

  13. ttay1213

    I’m a few days late to the game, but would love to join in. Middlemarch has been on my nightstand for months. This sounds like a great opportunity to finally pick it up. 🙂

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