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George Eliot¿s "Middlemarch" in the 21st Century

Long acclaimed as the indispensable novel of nineteenth-century realism, an exemplar of moral seriousness and, as Virginia Woolf said, one of the few novels In English written for grown-ups, George Eliot’s Middlemarch  is being reinterpreted for the twenty-first century. Today, readers may perceive the novel as commentary on a cholera epidemic, the coal conditions in the midlands of England, the perilous interconnections of community, or the aspirations of women in a still-patriarchal society. Middlemarch  is a novel about how ambitions—Dorothea Brooke’s for a life of achievement, Tertius Lydgate’s for scientific renown, Edward Casaubon’s for intellectual mastery—are doomed to defeat and compromise. At the same time, it is also a book that enlarges our sense of possibility and the ways that fiction can offer a meaningful understanding of other people’s lives, something of which we are still in need of today. We will read the first two books of Middlemarch,  “Miss Broke” and “Old And Young,” for the first class.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • Knowledge of the central themes of George Eliot’s Middlemarch
  • An understanding of the novel’s themes in historical context as well as their contemporary resonances

Ideal for

  • Those with an interest in nineteenth-century literature and culture
  • The curious and creative

1 section

  • Fall 2024

    • Section

    • Semester

      Fall 2024
    • Date

      Sep 24 - Oct 15
    • Day

    • Time

      • Online
    • Format

      • Online
    • Sessions

    • Faculty

      Birns, Nicholas
    • Location

      Instructor Led