Let's read Middlemarch together
a tome to tackle this fall and winter
In case you missed it, we're reading Middlemarch together! We're excited (and, let's be honest) a little apprehensive about diving into George Eliot's Middlemarch with you this fall and winter. This is a BIG book filled with lots of historical references and Eliot's signature attention to the smallest of details. It's also a cozy and thoughtful depiction of a small town that brings us relationships to root for, villains to hate, and characters we'll remember for a long time to come.
Today, we're sharing some logistics of how our big book read along will work, basic background information on the text, and tips for making your reading experience valuable and enjoyable.
How Our Big Book Read Along Will Work
We won’t be discussing this book until January, so feel free to take your time reading it as the weather cools down and you hopefully get to spend more days under a blanket with a big book.
If you need a schedule, here are a couple of suggestions:
Ginny shared a schedule from her bullet journal here.
The [Blank] Garden has a nice breakdown as well.
If you want to join us over on Patreon, we’ll be having a low key check-in over Zoom in November and December.
Basic Background Information on the Text
LitCharts provides an introduction to the novel that includes information about George Eliot as well as historical and literary context.
We love this New Yorker article titled “How George Eliot’s Middlemarch Resonates In the England of 2019.”
Britannica’s background on George Eliot is short, yet comprehensive.
Tips for Making Your Reading Experience Valuable & Enjoyable
Break It Down: The schedules above should help with that. Middlemarch is a hefty novel, and it can be intimidating at times. Breaking it down into sections can make it much more manageable. And when it’s more manageable, it’s more fun!
Use SparkNotes: We’ve said it before, and you’ll hear us say it again. When reading the classics, it’s nice to use SparkNotes either as a preview before you read a section or a summary after you read a section. The LitCharts link above would also work well.
We also highly recommend a comfortable sweater and a warm cup of tea when diving into Middlemarch. The setting is Victorian England, after all.
We’re on maternity leave! Here’s where to find us:
Download episodes of Novel Pairings wherever you get your podcasts. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. Check out our blog for bonus pairings, reading tips, and book recommendations. Find Chelsey at @chelseyreads. Find Sara at @fictionmatters and her newsletter. We love hearing what you’re reading, so tag us in your #bookstagram posts!
Ginny is making sure everything runs smoothly while we’re on maternity leave. You can find her at @ginnyreadsbooks.
We declare after all, there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!
-Sara and Chelsey