Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, later Marian Evans. It is her seventh novel, begun in 1869 and then put aside during the final illness of Thornton Lewes, the son of her companion George Henry Lewes. During the following year Eliot resumed work, fusing together several stories into a coherent whole, and during 1871–72 the novel appeared in serial form. The first one-volume edition was published in 1874, and attracted large sales.
Subtitled "A Study of Provincial Life", the novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during the period 1830–32. It has a multiple plot with a large cast of characters, and in addition to its distinct though interlocking narratives it pursues a number of underlying themes, including the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism and self-interest, religion and hypocrisy, political reform, and education. The pace is leisurely, the tone is mildly didactic (with an authorial voice that occasionally bursts through the narrative), and the canvas is very broad.
Despite the fact that it has some comical characters (Mr. Brooke, the "tiny aunt" Miss Noble) and comically-named characters (Mrs. Dollop), Middlemarch is a work of realism. Through the voices and opinions of different characters we become aware of various broad issues of the day – the Great Reform Bill, the beginnings of the railways, the death of King George IV and the succession of his brother, the Duke of Clarence. We learn something of the state of contemporary medical science. We also encounter the deeply reactionary mindset within a settled community facing the prospect of what to many is unwelcome change. The eight "books" which comprise the novel are not autonomous entities, but merely reflect the form of the original serialisation. A short prelude introduces the idea of the latter-day St. Theresa, presaging the character Dorothea; a postscript or "finale" after the eighth book gives the post-history of the main characters.
In general Middlemarch has retained its popularity and its status as one of the masterpieces of English fiction, although some reviewers have expressed dissatisfaction at the destiny recorded for Dorothea. From separate centuries Florence Nightingale and Kate Millet both remark on the eventual subordination of Dorothea's own dreams to those of her admirer, Ladislaw. However, 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”.《米德尔马契》是艾略特较成熟的一部作品,也被许多批评家认为是她的代表作.小说塑造了约一百五十个"圆型"或"扁平"人物,并将他们安排在错综复杂的社会关系中,再现了一个完整的社会结构.由于作家的成功塑造,展现在读者面前的这组人物群像,既栩栩如生,又有小说人物的独特艺术魅力;读者仿佛能看见他们,听见他们说话,感受到他们的生活状态,但同时又能感觉到他们那来自艺术世界的特殊韵味。
- 《年轻夫妇素描》Sketches of Young Couples [PDF]
- 《失落的史特拉第瓦里》The Lost Stradivarius [PDF]
- 《阿富特房子》The After House [PDF]
- 《乔治·梅瑞狄斯诗集第一卷》Poems by George Meredith - Volume 1 [PDF TXT]
- 《欧也妮·葛朗台》Eugénie Grandet [PDF TXT]
- 《追忆似水年华第三部：盖尔芒特家那边》In Search of Lost Time, Vol. III: The Guermantes Way [PDF]
- 《德里克·凡更》Derrick Vaughan Novelist [PDF]
- 《西特拉》Chitra, A Play in One Act [PDF]
- 《安伯森情史》The Magnificent Ambersons [PDF]
- 《歌德诗集》The Poems of Goethe [PDF TXT]