Saturday, May 2, 2009

Middlemarch Book 1 - Discussion

I know we have until the 4th of May. Just curious if anyone had any thoughts on the first book - "Ms. Brooks"?! I just finished the first book today (chapter 12) so I can focus on my notes for an upcoming final exam on Tuesday.

I have to admit I love it. I don't want to give any away for anyone that hasn't finished the first book but I already have my thoughts on what the ending will be. Am I the only person that feels they must predict the ending??

By the way, I must admit I'm surprised that George Eliot was able to capture the true relationship between sisters as if he was a sister himself. Granted our conversations are slightly more contemporary *wink* but still. He had some of the idiosyncrasies down pat. It was weird. I think he knows more about women then most men. hmph!

Oh and did any one else see "twittered" in the book?? haha. So far it is reminding me of Sense and Sensibility a bit. I was a bit thrown off by the change of subject matter in the last two chapters since they weren't directly related to Miss Brooks. But other than that it was an easy read. I heard it gets better??

Anyone else have thoughts? Am I posting prematurely? Should I have waited until the 4th? You can delete this post if it's premature. :)


Emily Cross said...

Actually Purple, i haven't started the novel yet, but George Eliot is actually a pen name for Mary Ann Evans.

She lived a very interesting life for a victorian woman -

Here i thought open relationships was a modern thing.

PurpleClover said...

WOW, you learn something new every day. I had no idea!

(Is that sad I didn't know it was a pen name?)

Thanks for the info!

Scattie said...

I didn't know it was a pen name either!
( I do feel slightly stupid now ):-) I have to also admit I havn't started it yet, but I am going to start it after I have cooked dinner!

Amanda said...

Purple, you crack me up because those are exactly the sorts of things writers and contemporaries used to say about Eliot. My book club read Silas Marner a couple years back and I read a lot of critique about it at the time. I can't remember who said it, but they said they'd like to meet the man who understood women so well. :D

PurpleClover said...

So basically there is still no hope for the male population?


moonrat said...

Actually, just today when I was reading it I realized I was going through it thinking of the author as a woman (consciously, actively). It made me pause--I was assuming all the many statements about what women do or don't excel at, etc, were tongue in cheek, because I knew George Eliot's platform was obviously feminist (or she wouldn't even have tried to write).

Once I caught myself doing this, I tried to read the last 40 pages of the first book assuming the author was a male, and trying to figure out how much of her agenda would have been transparent to her contemporaries. Like, Mr Brook is a bit of a buffoon, but would contemporary readers have nodded along with some of the things he said?

Purple (and others)--if you want to know more about George Eliot (and I know you have TONS of free time to read with exams and all), you should check out Phyllis Rose's book, PARALLEL LIVES, which is about five Victorian marriages. One of the five is George Eliot's relationship (not marriage, since he was married to someone else) with George Lewes. Very, very interesting.

Total side note--I heard an anecdote at a literary quiz last night that George Lewes (enlightened man that he was, and he was) referred to Charlotte Bronte as "A little, plain, provincial, sickly-looking old maid." Even the best of 'em still LOVE to say disparaging things about the appearance/social fitness of lady writers.

Leslie said...

Emily beat me to it - I was going to say: He's a girl! Or he was...

PurpleClover said...

It was funny because it reminded me of Elizabeth Peters' series which took place in the later 1800's but she wrote them over the last twenty years. So of course she was more liberal to use a feminist as her MC. The MC discusses at length what society deemed appropriate for the female gender but she deliberately allowed her female character get away with certain "indecencies". lol. I LOVED it. (I'm sorry I'm a bit of a feminist at heart)

But I thought how strange for this guy "George Eliot" to give women this dialogue. Some of the things the Brooks girls would say were a little "cheekie" for the time period it was written. I was surprised he wrote that way and thought he was a bit of a softy for women. Although "he" tried to appease his male readers by adding Mr. Brook's thoughts and dialogue.

To find out it was a woman makes it SOOOOOoooooo much more obvious. I think I would have rather enjoyed it more thinking it was a man. Le sigh.

(funny how reading lit can bring out my inner-nerd)

Moonie- have a fun time last night? I hope you aren't suffering for it today! ;)

PurpleClover said...

I actually just blogged about how I write with a male protag and I don't do it purposefully but I question if its because the male is considered "stronger" and a better MC for a "thriller" or "SciFi". Also, from a marketing standpoint, would initials be better than using my own name?!

So sad that these issues still exist. I'm obviously not helping matters either.