Monday, June 22, 2009

Middlemay 8: Sunset and Sunrise

Woohoo!! We've made it through 800 or something pages of Victorian prose!! I feel an enormous sense of accomplishment. I hope everyone else does, too!!

Thoughts and feelings on Book 8? Favorite passages?

Glass of champagne? I also have sparkling grape juice and, for the un-thirsty, virtual cupcakes in the back. If I haven't eaten them all already.


moonrat said...

Ok, I guess I'll go first. (Is there really no one else out there today, blogosphere?)

One of my favorite passages is this one, which since I've read it I've actually seen quoted elsewhere (can't remember where, but it was in some work of literature as an epigram):

"If we had lost our own chief good, other people's good would remain, and that is worth trying for." (Dorothea, of course.)

Also, this paragraph at the very end made me cry kind of a lot:

"Sir James never ceased to regard Dorothea's second marriage as a mistake; and indeed this remained the tradition concerning it in Middlemarch, where she was spoken of to a younger generation as as a fine girl who married a sickly clergyman, old enough to be her father, and in little more than a year after his death gave up her estate to marry his cousin--young enough to have been his son, with no property, and not well-born. Those who had not seen anything of Dorothea usually observed that she could not have been 'a nice woman,' else she would not have married either the one or the other."

More salaciously, I love that Rosamond survives after her husband's early death on his very substantial life insurance policy. Good thing Mr. Vincy launched so many objections to his daughter's suitor!

Anonymous said...

"Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."

Oh my, that is a fine ending. Thanks, dear Moonrat, for starting us on this reading adventure. What shall we do next?

Anonymous said...

Where is everyone? It's sort of lonely here at the end of the book.

Anyway, I have to report that one of those lists just came my way. You know, the ones with a hundred books you should have read - and I, for the first time, got to check Middlemarch. Yay.

moonrat said...

yay!!! that's the whole point of this shebang :) i can't WAIT to see one of those lists in a couple months (erm, maybe a couple years).

and hey, sandra, our party's just fine. if it's only the two of us, that means more virtual cupcakes each.

Anonymous said...

Hey Moonrat, I'm eating the chocolate one with the fudge icing right now. Hurrah for us!

Jolie said...

Yay! I'm so glad I read this book. I liked it more than I ever would have predicted beforehand.

I like the bit at the beginning of Chapter 74, when the omniscient narrator is talking about how women are "kind" to each other by pointing out their husbands' disgraces and wrongdoings:

"On the whole, one might say that an ardent charity was at work setting the virtuous mind to make a neighbor unhappy for her good."

Let's hear it for Victorian virtue!

Becky said...

I finished up this one and here is my review.