Monday, 4 July 2016

#EliotAlong Chapters 1 - 14 & Link Up

Apologies that this post is slightly delayed - I've been gallivanting in Yorkshire this weekend with Laura and Nahree and only got back this morning, so although I have finished the reading for the week it was only on the coach yesterday, so. In future weeks I'll be more punctual, I promise!

I'm liking Middlemarch so far I think, although it hasn't entirely sucked me in yet I'm not finding it a chore to read which is good. I really like the diversity of characters that have been introduced so far, and the amount covered in the first fourteen chapters is quite impressive. It feels kind of like Austen with more politics to me, which is definitely a good thing, To prevent rambling I'm going to utilise the questions I wrote when I'd only read half the chapters (and thus only knew of the existence of half the characters!).

1. Is this your first encounter with George Eliot? How are you finding it? Did you have any preconceptions about Eliot or the book before you started? 

This is my third Eliot experience, but all I remember about the other two is that I liked it (Silas Marner) and had no feelings about it either way (Adam Bede). So far I'm finding it funnier than I thought it would be, and the characters are much more relatable than I thought they would be. I like the balance - some of the characters are pretty dry but then others are lively enough to balance them out. Basically they seem pretty well - rounded, and although Eliot keeps going off on political tangents that I don't really have the background knowledge to understand properly it's making me want to find stuff out rather than making my eyes glaze over, so that's good. My preconceptions were pretty much that it was going to be really long and dry and hard work, and so far they're being proved wrong!

2. How do you feel about Dorothea?

I keep changing my mind. In the beginning I found her to be overly pious and it was a bit annoying, and although I still think that he expectations of life and particularly marriage are totally unrealistic and a little silly, it's kind of understandable given her age and the society that she is growing up in I guess. She's very sheltered and slightly unrealistic but she's intelligent and not afraid to speak her mind and I do like that about her. I definitely think Dodo is a better name than Dorothea though, that's what I'll be calling her from now on!

3. Who is your favourite character so far and why?

I didn't anticipate how difficult this question would be to answer when I wrote it! I think probably Sir James - he just seems like a really decent guy, and I agree with Celia that him marrying Dorothea would have been crap for him. I really appreciate that he's still going ahead with the cottage plan despite his disappointment, as lots of men wouldn't, and yeah. Basically I just think he's a good man.

4. The place of women is mentioned a lot in the first few chapters. Discuss.

I can't decide about this, because there's a lot of stuff about how maybe women should have more opportunities and education being great (obviously) and stuff, but also lots about how they need to be submissive after they get married and the traditional place of women and basically I don't have enough information to decide how this is going to go yet. So yes. That.

I pretty much feel like this week was an introduction and I'll have more information next week!

Link up your week one posts below so we can all come and comment!


  1. Hi Bex, I put some notes on my blog. I am really enjoying it so far. Such a big mix of characters. I think Celia is my favorite so far. I like how she is just so pragmatic and sees reality and especially how well she knows here sister. That whole part with their mother's jewels was so funny to me. It will be interesting to watch Dorothea's journey to see if her rigid piety gets tested. One thing that was hard for me take was knowing how really smart and capable she is, but due to her beliefs, she keeps deferring to men to check if what she thinks is ok. Grrr. :)

  2. Sorry for my double link above. I don't know how to get it off :)

  3. I actually like the name Dorothea :P but then I'm a weirdo who thankfully is not planning on having kids as they would all end up with weird literary names :)