Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 101 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Mill on the Floss.
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At the time of its publication, The Mill on the Floss received critical attention, both good and bad, because it was one of the first novels to consider the lives and problems of middle-class English country people and to present their lives in great detail. Some readers of the time found this fascinating; others were repelled by the amount of time Eliot spent exploring the lives of "common" people. For example, Leslie Stephen, writing in Cornhill Magazine in 1881, wrote that no other writer had so clearly presented "the essential characteristics [of quiet English country life]" and that she "has shown certain aspects of a vanishing social phase with a power and delicacy unsurpassed." On the other hand, W. L. Collins, writing in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine in 1860, wrote that the novel was drawn "from the worst aspect of the money-making middle class—their narrow-minded complacent selfishness...

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This section contains 1,016 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Mill on the Floss Study Guide
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The Mill on the Floss from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.