George Eliot (born
Mary Anne Evans) has been called “the great English novelist of ideas” (A.S.
Byatt), and Virginia Woolf famously called Middlemarch “one of the few
English novels written for grown-up people.” Set in the period of 1830 to1832, Middlemarch
is a complex and psychologically incisive narrative that examines English
provincial life through the interrelationships of a varied cast of characters,
focusing on issues such as individual aspiration and ambition, the possibilities
and limits in women’s lives, social roles and the relationships among classes,
and questions of purpose and morality in a society where the religious passions
of the past have largely receded. Classes will combine informal lecture and
This class is given in conjunction with George Eliot, Her Life and Ideas.
You may take either course or both.
For the first class, please read the
Prelude and Book I (Miss Brooke).
Required reading: George Eliot, Middlemarch,
Penguin Classics (paperback), ISBN 978-0-14-310772-9
professor emeritus, Berkshire Community College earned a M.A.T. at Johns
Hopkins University and taught English at BCC from 1976 – 2011.
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