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Like the previous writings of George Eliot, it finds the material of its wonderful creations, not in poetic, imaginative flights above the sphere of common life, but in a tender, religious sympathy with the actual workings of our prosaic humanity. The author exhibits an insight into the secret heart of onr nature scarcely less subtle and manifold than that of Shakspeare, and with the incisive, masterly touches of her pen produces a series of images, glowing with the warm breath of vitality, andso consonant with the revelations of experience, as scarcely to awaken the suspicion of art. Her delicacy of conception is fully matched by her vigor of execution. * * * Such a rare cabinet of character-sketches is perhaps not to be found in any other single production of English literature. With no grimace or distortion of feature, each personage exhibits some salient trait which takes him out of the sphere of commonplace, and furnishes a new study for the illustration of human nature. The flue dissection of motives shows the cunning hand of a great analyst. Nor is less constructive ability displayed in the synthetic genius with which the most effective elements are combined in a living whole. In the delicate discrimination of the intricate folds of character, in the marvelous insight with which the essence of special individualities Is disintegrated and reproduced, in the nice sagacity with which the changing forms of good and evil are traced out amidst their blended combinations in the same person, George Eliot is without a rival in the modern school of fiction. Each of her grand creations is the work of a noble inspiration, showing a masterful genius like that of the immortal lights of painting and sculpture. But they may claim even a still higher merit than this. They are the evangels of humane ethics, proclaiming the supremacy of truth to the nations, and the law of integrity and honor to the individual.—N. T. Daily Tribune.
There is no falling off in that vivid power, subtle thought, epigrammatic terseness, and vigorous strength that were the distinguishing characteristics of "Romola" and the "Mill on the Floss." * * * The book contains some of the most powerful characters that its author has as yet conceived.—Boston Saturday Evening Gazette.
It will probably be adjudged George Eliot's masterpiece, and by consequence it will take rank among the highest works of genius of the age. The secret of this wonderful woman's power is her profound insight into the working of the human heart in conjunction with the rare mastery of language by which she has always exactly the proper words to unfold them. Characterization is, therefore, her strongest point, and with this superiority to other great masters, that nothing of caricature, of extravagance, or of exaggeration is needed by her to impress her men and women on the reader's mind. The charm of George Eliot is undoubtedly her wonderful style, of which it may be said that grace and fitness characterize every sentence. In "Middlemarch" it reminds ns of the elaborate and delicate work of the cameo-cutter, or the exquisite finish of a drinking-cup. But the pains that have been bestowed upon it have brought out many types of character in as strong relief as the head of Caesar on the shell or the figures of Bacchante and Bacchanal on the goblet. The provincial English town is set before us with wonderful reality, and its population lives and moves in our sight; while that pretty Puritan, Dorothea, the heroine, enters as fully into our sympathies as if it had been our privilege to take her by the hand and look into her fathomless eyes. The book abounds in those pithy sayings which made Mrs. Poyser as individual as Dogberry, Sancho, or Sam Weller.— JV. Y. Evening Post.
In "Middlemarch: a Study of Provincial Life," we have a most vivid and delightful illustration of the qualities which have given George Eliot the position of the first of living novelists. The personages of the story are at once typical and individual. They are representative of English provincial life, and are at the same time as racy as though they had been selected at hap'-hazard from the population, on account of their peculiarities and oddities. Without any apparent effort on the part of the author, they are made to live in our imaginations as real beings, independent of each other, and yet aiding to develop each other. • • * It is our deliberate judgment that it indicates a genius superior to that of any other living novelist.— Boston Globe.
Never before have so keeu and varied an observation, M» deep an insight into character and motives, so strong a grasp of conceptions, snch power of picturesque description, worked together to represent through the agency of fiction an author's moral and social views. * * * The book is like.a portrait-gallery. From Mr. Brooke with his ingenious summaries, his universal experience, and never-failing reservations— highly amusing to the reader, but more tolerated in his circle than the ordinary feeling of human nature toward bores makes quite natural—to the wonderful group of hungry expectants gathered round the miser's death-bed,voice, eyes, movement,physiognomy, all are photographed from the life.—Saturday Review, London.
George Eliot's power of moral anatomy has probably never yet so fully displayed itself as in this, her latest work, and—in a sense—her ripest. • • • As we bid farewell to Mr. Brooke and Sir James Chettam, and Drs. Minchin and Sprague, and old Mr. Standish, and Easter-egg-complexioned Mr.Chichely, we feel Os if we were taking leave of old friends. Let those who wish to test George Eliot's power consider with how few words she lays bare the whole anatomy of a soul. Of whom have we heard the more, and whom do we know the better—Fred Vincy or Fendennis, Mr. Farebrother or Bishop Proudie r In almost a sentence or two Mr. Horfock is sketched as clearly as Sir Toby Belch himself, Mr. Borthrop Trumbull as Malvolio. * * * "Middlemarch" is beyond all measure the most powerful of George Eliot's works.—Athenaeum, London.
In every way it is a book to he glad of; and if it does not enhance George Eliot's fame, it will only be because she has already attained the foremost rank among novelists who write novels that contain more religion than all the sermons that were ever penned, and enongh sound philosophy to make the reputation of half a dozen moralists and metaphysicians.—Examiner, London.
"Middlemarch" must take rank as the best of the author's massive works. * * • We are to read "Middlemarch," not altogether for the story, but for the many -beauties that go to the making of a perfect whole: for the weighty language in which it is written; for the deep thought, of which that language is the incarnation; for the beautiful ideas that are expressed on every page; for the strong sentences, each of which contains some golden truth; and for the pictures it affords of habits of existence and modes of thinking among the "common tile" that are vanishing so fast that they are to us like things we have seen in dreams, and which soon must lie to us what are the lives and thoughts of the men and women who lived and laughed and loved a hundred years ago, when Fanny Burney was observing what was going on around her, and preparing to embalm some of the flies that were so common, in the amber of immortality.—Boston Traveller.
George Eliot will take her stand among the stars of the second magnitude, with the cluster which contains Scott and Fielding, and, indeed, all but Shakspeare, on a level of comparative equality with them; or, at least, without any distance between her and the greatest of them which can compare for a moment with the distance which divides all of them from Shakspeare.— Spectator, London.
A work which, if it stood alone, would have made an era in the literature of fiction. Following, as it does, a series of acknowledged masterpieces from the same hand which gave a new character to the English "novel," it would have been much to have been able to say that it maintained the reputation of its author. But we shall be surprised if the mature judgment passed upon it by those who can appreciate the work of a true artist does not pronounce it the most perfect of the series.—Blackwood's magazine.
GEORGE ELIOT'S NOVELS.
ADAM BEDE. Illustrated. i2mo, Cloth, $i oo.
FELIX HOLT, THE RADICAL. Illustrated. i21n0, Cloth, $i 00.
MIDDLEMARCH: a Study of Provincial Life. 2 vols., i2mo, Cloth, $3 50.
MILL ON THE FLOSS. Illustrated. i2mo, Cloth, $1 00.
ROMOLA. Illustrated. i2mo, Cloth, $1 00.
SCENES OF CLERICAL LIFE AND SILAS MARNER. In One Volume. Illustrated. i2mo, Cloth, $i 00.
Published By HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
Harper & Brothers will send either of the above works by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the