My Life in Middlemarch, by Rebecca Mead

mylifeinmiddlemarchI’m always interested when writers explore how their favourite books have affected their lives, so I was immediately intrigued by the description of My Life in Middlemarch, which sounded like a memoir combined with literary analysis in which author Mead would explore the role her favourite book, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, had in her own life. In fact, the memoir aspect is probably the thinnest part of this book — Mead does make references throughout to her reading of Middlemarch at different points in her life and how it connected with what she was thinking or doing at the time, but this is a minor part of the book. The focus is mainly on analysis of Middlemarch and how the book intersects with its author’s life. There’s much more biography of George Eliot here than I expected, but that’s a good thing rather than a bad thing. Rebecca Mead has no qualms about believing (as, let’s face it, we all do, regardless of what critical theories we supposedly subscribe to) that an author’s life informs her writing, and she plumbs the depths of Eliot’s story to find parallels to the subject matter of Middlemarch. While there was nothing particularly earth-shattering here, I found it an enjoyable read, and, perhaps most important, it made me want to re-read Middlemarch.

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Filed under Nonfiction -- general

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