Middlemarch (Evergreens) by George Eliot
The most goal-oriented account of nineteenth-century authenticity, Middlemarch recounts the tale of a whole town in the years paving the way to the Reform Bill of 1832, a period when advanced techniques were beginning to test old orthodoxies. Eliot’s complex and intense portrayal gives rich expression to each subtlety of feeling, and clearly enlivens the town’s tenants – including the youthful dreamer Dorothea Brooke, the dry researcher Casaubon, the youthful, enthusiastic reformist specialist Lydgate, the unusual youthful magnificence Rosamond and the old, undercover financier Bulstrode – as they move in counterpoint to each other.
Craftsmanship, religion, governmental issues, society, science, human connections in all their multifaceted nature, nothing is left unexamined under the storyteller’s magnifying lens. One of the best books written in the English dialect, Middlemarch is a scholarly point of interest in its historic approach, and an invaluable archive of its age.