The George Eliot Collection
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd.
Date: August 2010
Duration: 9 hours 37 minutes
Middlemarch read by Hannah Gordon, described by Virginia Woolf as "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people", Middlemarch follows the novel's central characters Dorothea and Lydgate as they both respectively quest to find heroism in everyday deeds and gestures. As their stories intermingle in many vital ways, Eliot's story is both moving and very thought-provoking. The Mill on the Floss read by Hannah Gordon, as Eliot's omniscient narrator states towards the end of this story: "Nature repairs her ravages - but not all". This theme runs strongly through this tale of a brother and sister growing up by the ever-changing river living in Dovecote Mill, their family home. Governed by very different impulses, Lucy and Tom, the story's protagonists, drift apart - though ironically, and tragically, it is the river that will force reconciliation. Silas Marner read by Geraldine James, our eponymous hero is outcast from his Methodist community and travels south to the village of Raveloe, where he is treated with suspicion. When an unwanted child is abandoned, Silas is forced to quit his isolation, and in caring for the girl, he learns the true nature of family whilst simultaneously being accepted into the community due to his fatherly kindness and strength of character in the face of adversity. Adam Bede read by Hannah Gordon, the carpenter Adam Bede is in love with Hetty Sorel, although she, in turn, falls for the squire Arthur Donnithorne, who disgraces her before leaving town. Driven to drastic and shocking measures, Hetty commits a heinous act, and this novel's great success is in sensitively relating the series of events which occur without overt judgement and seemingly a didactic objective.