Finishing “My Life in Middlemarch”

I found this book much more interesting than “Middlemarch”, George Eliot’s life more exhilarating and gratifying than the characters she created, for example Dorothea, the description of the relationship between Eliot and George Henry Lewes more interesting than most of the relationships described in novels–I mean many novels including “Middlemarch”. Although I read it long time ago, I can still remember that the relationship between Dorothea and Casaubon is quite ridiculous, between Lydgate and Rosamund falling too much on the cliche of a promising doctor and a pretty woman, between Fred and Mary too boring, between Dorothea and Ladislaw too much of an afterthought. Still, it is a great book despite the plot flaws and it’s a mature book too. If I didn’t read this book, I wouldn’t have realized the greatness of “Middlemarch”–the psychological accuracy of human relationship, the sacrifice of a book’s entertainment value for its realism. After reading this book, I am persuaded that Dorothea is likely to go for an old pedantic like Casaubon since it’s based on a true story, according to the author, of the marriage between Mark Paterson of Oxford University and his wife Francis. I mean even if Casaubon were a real scholar rather than a fake one, Dorothea was still going to feel stifled.

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