Rebecca Mead - The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot
- Kylie Grant
- 19 March 2014
A passionate celebration of the art of reading
Interweaving in-depth readings of George Eliot's classic novel Middlemarch with an exploration into Eliot's life, as well as reflections on Mead's personal history, The Road to Middlemarch is no dry academic study, but a complex and sensitive work of art in its own right.
Each chapter explores a different aspect of Middlemarch, and Mead skilfully balances the various strands of literary biography, textual analysis and personal memoir, ensuring no chapter relies too heavily on one element alone. The most interesting and moving sections come later in the book when Mead explores the vital role empathy plays in Eliot's writing. These sections invite both Mead and the reader to question their own understanding of empathy and how important it is in the act of reading.
The Road to Middlemarch not only celebrates George Eliot and Middlemarch, but is also a powerful evocation of how books are read and how they are as much living, breathing entities as the people who read them.