Middlemarch by George Eliot

Though Middlemarch took me a month and a half to read because of time-consuming school &c. I never lost touch with the story. Every time I opened the book I felt as if I was revisiting old neighbours or dropping by life-long friends. Middlemarch tells the story of an almost entire village, dealing with a myriad of daily issues yet it never got confusing due to the wonderfully clear language by George Elliot. Not only did it deal with amazing story-lines but it also gave intelligent commentary on broad issues varying from the state of medical science to married life all while following the historical and political changes in England during 1830-32. In short, the more words I’m writing, the more I feel as if I’m doing injustice to this book. It’s so vast. Virginia Woolf was quoted as saying “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people” and she couldn’t be more right. From the commentary till the story-lines till the perfectly amazing language used, it’s continually beautiful, entertaining and insightful and holds everything and more a good book needs.

Some bits I loved:

… to me it is one of the most odious things in a girl’s life, that there must always be some supposition of falling in love coming between her an dany man who is kind to her, and to whom she is grateful.

‘…To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern, that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely ordered variety on the chords of emotion – a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge. One may have that condition by fits only.’
‘But you leave out the poems,’ said Dorothea. ‘I think they are wanted to complete the poet. I understand what you mean about knowledge passing into feeling, for that seems to be just what I experience. But I am sure I could never produce a poem.’
‘You are poem – and that is to be the best part of a poet – what makes up the poet consciousness in his best moods,’ said Will, showing such originality as we all share with the morning and the spring-time and other endless renewals.