Middlemarch

By George Eliot

I’ve read this before and loved it. I recommended it to someone recently and got a hankering, and with some freer time coming up I thought I would go for it. I am also done with my library books. I am all of three pages into chapter one but I have thrilled to the prelude.

Dorothea Brook really is amazing. I remember the book’s ending but not much of the middle and I am excited all over again to follow her from maiden to destiny.

UPDATE 6/26
Yeah, I don’t really have anything else to add except that I really am more disappointed in Tertius Lydgate than I ever have been before, and that I thought the Fred/Mary storyline wrapped up kind of fast. What struck me the most, however, is that scene outside the billiards parlor with Fred, Tertius, and Featherstone or Farebrother (the naturalist preacher) regarding gambling, redemption, and desperation. I also am left wondering what happened to the Causabon fortune after all. Reading this book now is like visiting a friend, and I don’t really want to close-read it anymore. Sure, there’s lots buried in there worthy of term papers, but this time I only want to point out one thing: some good, old-fashioned, pro-medical industrial complex, psuedoscience, alternative medicine skepticism.

    The high standard held up to the public mind by the College of Physicians, which gave its peculiar sanction to the expensive and highly-rarified medical instruction obtained by graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, did not hinder quackery from having an excellent time of it; for since professional practice chiefly consisted in giving a great many drugs, the public inferred that it might be better off with more drugs still, if they could only be got cheaply, and hence swallowed large cubic measures of physic prescribed by unscrupulous ignorance which had taken no degrees.

This is from a book written by a woman in 1872 about 1829, mind you. Acupuncturists and chiropractors could learn a few things from her, and I don’t mean get a better understanding of small-town politics in post-railroad era England.

Anyway, although he’s too old for the part, don’t you think James Callis of Gaius Baltar fame would make an excellent Lydgate in a movie adaptation? Ah, the thwarted ambition! Sigh, the pathos!

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