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Middlemarch - April CC Book Club Selection

Mary13Mary13 4159 replies87 threads Senior Member
Our April selection—yes, April—will be Middlemarch by George Eliot. We chose this book early because it is quite an undertaking — anywhere from 600 to 800 pages depending on your font. It will be a challenge, but we'll read it together and enjoy ourselves, or die trying. No really, it’ll be fun.

An English professor by the name of Rohan Maitzen, from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, has created a wonderful site for people doing what we are doing. I can't post the link because CC blocks it (I'm guessing because it's Word Press), but if you google "Middlemarch for Book Clubs - Ideas for Reading," it should pop right up. Professor Maitzen has also made the Kindle version of her reading guide available for free on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Middlemarch-Book-Clubs-Reading-Discussion-ebook/dp/B01EXRTUBK

Rohan Maitzen's guide includes questions for each chapter, reading tips, information about George Eliot, and links to other sources and discussions, all of which will help us on our journey.

Middlemarch is considered George Eliot’s masterpiece — “George Eliot” being a pseudonym for Mary Ann Evans. I’ll let Amazon sum it up:
Set during the early part of the 19th century, George Eliot’s “Middlemarch” is a work of epic scope that centers on the intersecting lives of the inhabitants of the fictitious titular town of Middlemarch. The themes of the novel are as numerous as its characters. Through the narrative of the story, the author addresses the status of women, the nature of marriage, politics, religion, and education in the 19th century. The story is principally concerned with the lives of Dorothea Brooke, an energetic, intelligent, wealthy young woman and of Tertius Legate, an idealistic, talented, yet naïve young doctor.

The late writer and literary critic Sir V.S. Pritchett wrote, “No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative…. I doubt if any Victorian novelist has as much to teach the modern novelists as George Eliot.... No writer has ever represented the ambiguities of moral choice so fully.”

Discussion begins on April 1st. Please join us!

(P.S. For those wondering what happened to the February selection, fear not…discussion begins February 1st and can be found here: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/2167439-educated-and-cheaper-by-the-dozen-february-cc-book-club-selection-p1.html)
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Replies to: Middlemarch - April CC Book Club Selection

  • garlandgarland 16423 replies206 threads Senior Member
    Oh my! You may have finally hooked me (I always admire what you do, but have never lined up my own reading with the club's).

    Middlemarch is my favorite book! Have read it multiple times--now I'll just have to squeeze in a reread before April--can't wait!!!!
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  • HarrietMWelschHarrietMWelsch 2662 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Too funny. It's tied for my all-time favorite too, @garland (with OUR MUTUAL FRIEND). Thrilled to have the excuse to re-read. Thanks!
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  • Mary13Mary13 4159 replies87 threads Senior Member
    Yay! We are going to need some “seasoned” Middlemarch readers to help us. :smile:
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18918 replies333 threads Senior Member
    Wow. I haven't read it even once, and I'm a bit intimidated, but if people have already read it and want to read it again, I'm impressed!
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  • mathmommathmom 33086 replies160 threads Senior Member
    I read it at 19 when I was travelling alone in Europe doing thesis research. (I read a lot of long Victorian novels that summer!) I loved it. I tried rereading it in my 30s when I had a house full of babies and got bogged down. I'm looking forward to finally rereading it when I am less distracted.
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  • garlandgarland 16423 replies206 threads Senior Member
    @HarrietMWelsch --Our Mutual Friend is my favorite Dickens, tied with Bleak House!
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 3872 replies14 threads Senior Member
    ==beads of sweat form on my forehead from flashbacks to HS English class where I floundered==
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  • HImomHImom 35828 replies396 threads Senior Member
    I’m #1 on waitlist for Middlemarch!
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18918 replies333 threads Senior Member
    There's a waitlist for an 800-page novel?!
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  • garlandgarland 16423 replies206 threads Senior Member
    If she's no. 1, it's a *very* short list!
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  • Mary13Mary13 4159 replies87 threads Senior Member
    Welcome, @HouseChatte! I'm glad you'll be joining us!
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  • garlandgarland 16423 replies206 threads Senior Member
    That's a wonderful article! Not just for about this book. So many really good tributes.
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  • mathmommathmom 33086 replies160 threads Senior Member
    That NYT article also gave a shout out to Camus' L'Etranger/The Stranger.
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18918 replies333 threads Senior Member
    I got Middlemarch out of the library and began to read it. And I have serious doubts I'll be joining the discussion in April.
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  • mathmommathmom 33086 replies160 threads Senior Member
    It's pretty dense. I'm on track so far. (Reading limited mostly to the gym and on commute to NYC one day a week.)
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  • Mary13Mary13 4159 replies87 threads Senior Member
    @VeryHappy...because it will take too long to finish or because it's not your cup of tea? (I haven't started it yet.)
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18918 replies333 threads Senior Member
    So far (which I'll grant you is barely the first few pages), because it's not my cup of tea. If I wanted to, I could easily get through it, but I'm not sure it's for me. I've not given up completely, though.
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  • mathmommathmom 33086 replies160 threads Senior Member
    It get's better in the sense that you get introduced to other (more interesting) characters, but not in the sense that a lot more happens. I'm 150 pages in. I remember nothing, but I'm pretty sure I read it the summer of '77!
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