After reading this book, I was glad to have learned a number of interesting things about a range of topics relating to Middlemarch, which I recently re-read. I also learnt lots of good stuff about Mary-Ann Evans/Marian Evans Lewes/George Eliot/Mary Anne Cross (clever lady, providing future biographers with her life story in a handful of names). And I also really enjoyed the writing style which was precise and gently scholarly, without being pompous or indigestible.
But I was left a little puzzled by what the book was meant to actually be. The parallel stories of a creative genius and one of her fans, told semi-nostalgically and semi-analytically? Literary criticism of a canon of British literature, for people who wouldn’t buy a book stamped “literary criticism” but want to gain knowledge in that field nonetheless? A biography with special reference to a particular book and personal comments?
All of the above?