Middlemarch: A Study in Provincial Life

  • Kathleen McCormackEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02721-6_26-1


Generally regarded as among the best of Victorian novels, George Eliot’s Middlemarch sustains unity within its substantial length by means of complex relationships among several plot lines, a number of elaborate metaphorical patterns, a consistently omniscient narrator, and a large group of characters who participate in interrelated events. Originally published in eight individual monthly or bimonthly volumes, Middlemarchargues that the fellow feeling that generates positive connections among characters, along with acknowledgments of duties voluntarily incurred in the past, promotes moral behavior among members of an organically perceived community. Metaphors of woven materials, in particular several varieties of webs, represent the interconnectedness of the lives of Middlemarchers to one another and to the past, as well as representing the text itself. The omniscient narrator demonstrates authority partly through a vast array of literary and historical allusions and shows...


Serialization Vocation Reform Web metaphor Organicism 
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  1. Adam, Ian, ed. 1975. This particular web. Toronto: Toronto University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Mintz, Alan. 1978. George Eliot and the novel of vocation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishFlorida International UniversityNorth MiamiUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More College, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada