Views & Reviews Medical classics

Middlemarch

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39281.661250.59 (Published 26 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:213
  1. Vinod Patel, associate professor in clinical skills, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick,
  2. John Morrissey, clinical lead for diabetes and associate specialist, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Nuneaton
  1. vinod.patel{at}geh.nhs.uk

    George Eliot (real name Mary Ann or Marian Evans) is arguably the greatest of Victorian novelists and Middlemarch is her undisputed masterpiece. Virginia Woolf famously hailed it as “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” The events described by this monumental work, which was published in 1871-2, are set 40 years earlier in the fictitious market town of the title. Eliot was born in 1819 in Nuneaton and it is not improbable that Middlemarch was based on nearby Coventry.

    The novel has 21 major characters and numerous plots and subplots. At the centre are the parallel stories of a physician, Dr Tertius Lydgate, and the saintly Dorothea …

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