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Middlemarch is George Eliot's masterpiece, a Victorian novel on the grandest scale. Originally published in serial form in Blackwood's Magazine in 1871-1872, it was at once a critical and popular success. 'No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative,' V. S. Pritchett noted. Set in a fictional Midlands town, the novel chronicles nineteenth-century English provincial life through its precisely delineated characters, weaving many stories into one richly textured tapestry. Eliot renders her vast cast with cool irony and intelligence: Dorothea Brooke, the 'latter-day St. Theresa,' intense, impassioned, and frustrated; Tertius Lydgate, the idealistic young doctor who comes to Middlemarch fired with the desire to spread the new science of medicine; Fred Vincy and his spoiled, pretentious sister Rosamond; Casaubon, Dorothea's elderly husband, for whom she feels at first awe and finally pity; and the many lesser characters who people this epic in a small landscape. Unsurpassed in its depiction of human nature, Middlemarch is one of the great works of world literature.