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Middlemarch

By George Eliot All Rights Reserved ©

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Chapter 1

Who that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa, has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand-in-hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide-eyed and helpless-looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve. That child-pilgrimage was a fit beginning. Theresa's passionate, ideal nature demanded an epic life: what were many-volumed romances of chivalry and the social conquests of a brilliant girl to her? Her flame quickly burned up that light fuel; and, fed from within, soared after some illimitable satisfaction, some object which would never justify weariness, which would reconcile self-despair with the rapturous consciousness of life beyond self. She found her epos in the reform of a religious order.

That Spanish woman who lived three hundred years ago, was certainly not the last of her kind. Many Theresas have been born who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of far-resonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur ill-matched with the meanness of opportunity; perhaps a tragic failure which found no sacred poet and sank unwept into oblivion. With dim lights and tangled circumstance they tried to shape their thought and deed in noble agreement; but after all, to common eyes their struggles seemed mere inconsistency and formlessness; for these later-born Theresas were helped by no coherent social faith and order which could perform the function of knowledge for the ardently willing soul. Their ardor alternated between a vague ideal and the common yearning of womanhood; so that the one was disapproved as extravagance, and the other condemned as a lapse.

Some have felt that these blundering lives are due to the inconvenient indefiniteness with which the Supreme Power has fashioned the natures of women: if there were one level of feminine incompetence as strict as the ability to count three and no more, the social lot of women might be treated with scientific certitude. Meanwhile the indefiniteness remains, and the limits of variation are really much wider than any one would imagine from the sameness of women's coiffure and the favorite love-stories in prose and verse. Here and there a cygnet is reared uneasily among the ducklings in the brown pond, and never finds the living stream in fellowship with its own oary-footed kind. Here and there is born a Saint Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heart-beats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centring in some long-recognizable deed.

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Lizzie: This is such an interesting book because it's honest. The main character is, first and foremost, herself. She isn't a martyr, the strongest, a motherly figure, a classic YA female protagonist, or any trope for a female character. She's real. The story isn't claiming to do anything, to preach anyt...

Jade Niday: This book has a great plot and characters. I appsolutely couldnt put it down. It keeps you wanting more.. Then with everything going on there is the love starting to grow between the two characters.. I really can't wait to see what happens next.

fellipxx: I loved this novel, it was very sweet and big on the emotions I really enjoyed it and could not stop reading not even for a second, I even cried a little bit at a few touching moments too. And overall I found this book sweet, realistic and cheesy (I like the cheesy stuff).

Hadley Swiss: Despite several grammar mistakes, missing words etc, I had to give this book a five-star rating. Why? Because it was funny; the characters were all lovable, life-like and imperfect. The author used the premise of love and misunderstandings to create a realistic, lovable story which I’d even rerea...

jazzylovesdogssomuch: this book overall was really great. the plot is fantastic with its forbidden love vibe, and how the author hints when there’s going to be a plot change. however, i would’ve really liked parts of the book to be in Conrad’s perspective which i think really would’ve made the book more interesting. o...

A.K.G: It's a very interest story and I loved every minute of it.Props to author on writting this wonderful story successfully and I hope there will be a sequel to look forward to.

Alexis Nicole: Loved this story! I couldn't put it down. Definitely recommend.One of the best lgbt story's I have read 💞

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badreputation: This was an amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing story! Why are you not a professional author?!!!!!! You are so good!!!!!

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