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Middlemarch – George Eliot

Middlemarch” is a book written by George Eliot, and is considered a modern novel. It covers different love stories that are related in some way, where controversial topics about the advances in medicine, greed, lies, deception, among other topics that reveal the characteristics of the city of Middlemarch are addressed.


Middlemarch Characters

Among the characters in the story we find Dorothea Brooke, a 17-year-old girl who is an orphan and lives with her younger sister named Celia, and is under the tutelage of her uncle mr. Brooke; Sir James Chettam, a suitor of Dorothea; Edward Casaubon, Dorothea’s husband.

On the other hand we find other characters like Fred and Rosamond Vincy, who are the sons of the Mayor of Middlemarch; Featherstone, the uncle of Mayor Middlemarch’s children; Joshua Rigg, is the illegitimate son of Featherstone; Will Ladislaw is a young cousin of Casaubon; Tertius Lydgate, a Middlemarch physician; John Raffles, a mysterious man from Middlemarch; Camden Farebrother, is a friend of Bulstrode.

Summary and synopsis of “Middlemarch”

This work focuses on the lives of the inhabitants of Middlemarch, which is a fictional city from 1829 onwards. It is based on four different and simultaneous frames. The Mayor of Middlemarch has two children, Fred and Rosamond Vincy. Since Fred did not go to university, he is considered a failure. But he turns out to be the alleged heir to his wealthy uncle Featherstone, who is very unpleasant and has no children.

It all starts with Dorothea Brooke, who is courted by Sir James Chettam. But she has no interest in him but in Edward Casaubon who is much older than her, is 45 years old. So she accepts his marriage proposal, although her sister has doubts about it.
Finally Dorothea and Casaubon get married and go on their honeymoon in Rome, and there they begin to have their first differences when she discovers that her husband has no interest in including her in his intellectual activities, which was his main objective to marry him. . Later she meets Will Ladislaw, a young cousin of Casaubon.

On the other hand, Fred contracts an illness and is cared for by Mr. Tertius Lydgate, who is the newest doctor in Middlemarch. But Lydgate has novel ideas about medicine. Rosamond Vincy, is attracted to him and seeks to get closer, using Fred’s illness as an excuse. Both are engaged.

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Then Casaubon returned from Rome, and suffered a heart attack. Lydgate serves him promptly and informs Dorothea that Casaubon has only about fifteen years to live if he leaves his studies and has a quiet life. On the other hand, Fred recovers little by little, but mr. Featherstone becomes ill, and on his deathbed he reveals that he has two wills and tries to get Mary to help him get rid of one. But she refuses. So he dies, and his willingness to leave Fred Vincy £ 10,000 comes out. But on the contrary, his status and fortune go to the hands of his illegitimate son named Joshua Rigg.

Casaubon dies and leaves a will stating that if his wife marries Ladislaw, he will lose his inheritance. So the suspicion is generated that these were lovers. Ladislaw for his part, if he is in love with. But he does not intend to get involved or make her lose her inheritance.
Although Lydgate strives to please Rosamond, he remains indebted. So he seeks help from Bulstrode. In the same way, his friendship with Camden Farebrother sustains him. For his part, John Raffles is a mysterious man who knows about Bulstrode’s past, and wants to blackmail him. This being threatened, seeks to accelerate the death of the Raffles, who were very ill, and provides Lydgate with a lot of money so that there were no suspicions.

Despite wanting to avoid scandals, he soon begins to make Bulstrode’s past known, and involves Lydgate, since by accepting the loan, he makes him an accomplice. Only Dorothea and Farebrother support him, but Lydgate and Rosamond decide to leave, leaving the company of his wife as consolation.
Finally Fred and Mary get married and live happily with their three children. Lydgate dies at age 50, leaving Rosamond with four children. After her death, she marries a wealthy doctor. Ladislaw works on public reform, and Dorothea is happy as the wife and mother of her two children. Her son is ultimately heir to the property of Arthur Brooke

Analysis of the work

“Middlemarch” is a work that shows us different stories where the themes of conventional romance are present, as we can see in the relationship between Rosamond and Lydgate, who recreate the courtship and all conventional romance. It also exposes the difference between marriage and vocation. On the one hand, the author argues that short romantic engagements lead to problems, because unrealistic ideals stand out against each other, and they end up getting married without knowing each other. But compatibility-focused marriages do better.

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In this way “Middlemarch” is not a traditional and common novel, since the female characters have a voice that makes itself known. But no character is the center of the plot, but they are all a fundamental part of the story, and they expose controversial issues regarding what marriage means and the whole process of courtship and infatuation. On the other hand, it also shows us the dark side of each character, where greed, disloyalty, infidelity, among other important aspects, stand out.
Finally this work breaks the typical schemes of the conventional novel, since it proposes another type of reading where each character is the center of the story. It is based on love stories that have stumbles along the way, where personal interests stand out, revealing the dark side of each character. The author’s position regarding the meaning of dating and marriage is also noted, giving a new perspective.


“There is no despair as absolute as that which occurs in the first moments of our first great sadness, when we still do not know what it is to have suffered and receive relief, to have despaired and to regain hope.”

“The home gods still exist for us. Let every new religion be tolerant of this fetishism, if it does not want to destroy its own roots! ”

“Justice is like the kingdom of God, it does not exist as a fact without us; it is rather within us as a great longing. ”

“When death, the great reconciler, comes to us, it is never our tenderness, but our severity, what we regret.”

“A good number of great writers, both living and deceased, come to our memory as proof that women can give us novels not only good, but among the best in the world; novels, moreover, with a valuable character of their own, whose qualities and experiences are different from those that appear in novels written by men. ”