English, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 25 (1994) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/


The George Eliot Review 2018 (25)


If every dog has its day, perhaps every novel has its year and if so this is the year of Middlemarch.

I looked forward to the television production with some misgivings, feeling that it would be impossible for the immense depth and scope of the novel to be adequately conveyed in a few hours of viewing. Adam Bede had been, I thought, entirely unsuccessful, except on a superficial level as a pretty costumed story. The profundity of Middlemarch would not benefit from such treatment. In the end, however, I felt that justice had to a large extent been done, due to the allowance of adequate time, though I could have wished it longer, and in particular to skillful casting, which brought George Eliot's characters to life in a way which must have led many viewers to read the novel, and to find the joy of the many layers of subtle thought and characterization missing from the screen.