Travels with Eliot

Travels with Eliot

The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot

by Rebecca Mead

Text Publishing, $32.99 pb, 293 pp, 9781922079329

In chapter fifteen of Middlemarch (1871–72), George Eliot writes about the germination of literary passion: ‘Most of us who turn to any subject we love remember some morning or evening hour when we got on a high stool to reach down an untried volume … as the first traceable beginning of our love.’ Rebecca Mead’s book on her own engagement with Middlemarch captures this experience of burgeoning intellectual desire: the rush of recognition a reader can feel upon first encountering a novel, and the enduring relevance a beloved book might offer as its contents transform through frequent readings.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in April 2014, no. 360
Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas is the author of the novel, Fugitive Blue, and winner of the Dobbie Prize in 2009. She holds a doctorate from the University of Melbourne, where she teaches in the School of Culture and Communication. See:

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.