February was a weird and hectic month and I will write more about it tomorrow, but this is my review post of an amazing book I read this month: Middlemarch, by George Eliot.
I chose this book (without knowing its extension: 785 pages +25 pages of explanatory notes, plus the introduction!) because it ticked off three different reading challenge prompts: PopSugar’s: A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym, as it was written by Mary Anne Evans, whose pen name was George Eliot; Back to the Classics: A classic with a single-word title; and the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge: One Word.
If I had known that I had to read +800 pages I would probably have changed my decision, but Middlemarch arrived in the mail just a couple days before the end of January and I really felt I had no choice. And I’m glad I managed to get through it.
I hadn’t heard of Middlemarch before and now I have this feeling of longing for more books like this, written by women in times when male dominance was prevalent. I fell in love with Dorothea since the first lines I read. She is like my new role model. She’s such a feminist, born before her time (of course with numerous aspects of the age she was living…).
Middlemarch was published in 1871-1872, in a tumultuous time for humanity, and it’s incredible to read the struggle between modern and reactionary views. I was amazed at how many things that we are living now were portrayed by Eliot. You might disagree, but what about, a depiction of what we now know as “echo chambers,” when Will says: “do you think the public reads with a view to their own conversion?” Just after that, Eliot describes an election, and it seems to me that she was describing the elections that are taking place this year in Mexico. Outstanding.
I’m surprised about how much I marked and wrote and underlined… Eliot writes a romantic story, gossip, politics, religion, philosophy, art, medicine, even grammar! And she’s so insightful… I’m sure I’ll fill quite a few pages of my commonplace book.
While I was reading I felt as if I was watching a TV Show (has anyone thought of adapting it!?) like Downtown Abbey, but better, and the feeling of emptiness after finishing it is still with me.
Have you read Middlemarch? Do you love it as I do? Have you read any other book by George Eliot?