A sorrowful tale about social mobility, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles is part of the new Folio Society Wessex collection. Each edition is illustrated with Peter Reddick’s evocative woodcuts.
A Study of Provincial Life
Illustrated by Pierre Mornet
Introduced by John Mullan
George Eliot’s Middlemarch is an ambitious account of a fast-changing world. The new Folio Society edition is an exquisite production of one of the greatest English novels in history.
‘It is one of those books that expands and grows greater in its readers’ minds with each reading.’
George Eliot’s sweeping story of a manufacturing town and its inhabitants is widely acknowledged to be her masterpiece and is considered to be one of the greatest English novels. A compelling exploration of social change and human nature, Middlemarch is the most requested title on our website and our edition is an ambitious production that reflects its literary significance.
Bound in blocked cloth
Set in Caslon
Frontispiece and 14 colour illustrations
Blocked cloth slipcase
11˝ x 7 ¼˝
A novel unsurpassed in scope and literary achievement
Set in the early 1830s, as small town and rural certainties make way for industrial and political transformations, Eliot interweaves the lives of an entire community. At the heart of the book are Dorothea Brooke, a wealthy young woman with ambitions beyond her station, and Dr Tertius Lydgate, who believes he can effect change through the results of his research. The dreams of both are thwarted, as they make unwise marriage choices and must deal with the life-changing consequences of their actions through personal sacrifice and soul-searching.
Eliot pushed the boundaries of expectation for female writers at the time, refusing to conform to the flighty romance and happy endings of her peers’ publications. Middlemarch offers a lament for the limited options available to women in late Regency England, alluding to their lost potential and unrealised dreams. But it also tackles themes including morality, social mobility and industrialisation. Ultimately, the human condition is at the mercy of the rapidly changing world.
Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
A volume that celebrates a great literary work
Our exceptional large-format collector’s edition is a fitting celebration of this monumental work. Renowned French artist Pierre Mornet painted Eliot’s portrait for the New Yorker and his 15 striking illustrations for our edition blend realism and subtle stylisation. For the introduction we commissioned 18th-century literature expert Professor John Mullan, who offers a fresh perspective on the novel. The blocked binding frames a silhouette of Dorothea, and the binding’s floral motif is echoed on the slipcase.
About George Eliot
About John Mullan
About Pierre Mornet
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