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George Eliot's enduring appeal

Middlemarch, a 19th-century novel by George Eliot, may be more relevant to the contemporary woman than most of the books written in the interim. Rebecca Mead explains in her own book what Eliot has to say about modern love and life — and in this web chat on Jezebel.


Rebecca writes that Dorothea, the main character of Middlemarch, has accompanied her through life. The girl speaking to the girl; the woman to the woman. As the character matured, so did Rebecca.


Much as Dorothea has accompanied Rebecca, so she has accompanied me. I’ve known her since the nervous first week of university, each of us out of place, when somehow we met and stuck. And we've dipped into each other's lives as one would drop into a familiar book, which takes unexpected turns.

Like Dorothea, Rebecca is a fount of endless understanding and unassuming wisdom. Some people got to experience that last night at my apartment, where Jessica Coen and I hosted the book party. (Here's Rebecca on the left, with Arianna Huffington, another icon.)


If you didn't make it, you can still ask questions here at the web chat, where Rebecca is in conversation with Sadie Stein and Jezebel readers. And who knows, maybe you’ll assuage the guilt: you've heard vaguely of Middlemarch but like me have never made it to the end; and you always get Jane Austen and George Eliot's novels confused.

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