Approaches to Teaching Eliot’s Middlemarch

  • Editor: Kathleen Blake
  • Pages: ix & 187 pp.
  • Published: 1990
  • ISBN: 9780873525336 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873525343 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Middlemarch Cover

“A monument to dozens of teachers’ love for their students and for a book they love to teach.”

Studies in English Literature

Middlemarch,“ writes Kathleen Blake, “is the great Eliot novel, the one to teach, because it has the kind of appeal that can carry students forward toward becoming people who will return to it.” Taught to undergraduates in introductory surveys as well as in specialized upper-division courses, Middlemarch presents challenges to both teachers and students—in its length, its rich philosophical and psychological insights, its range of characters, its historical scope, its multiple plots and dense style. The sixteen essays in Approaches to Teaching Eliot’s Middlemarch describe imaginative ways experienced teachers have dealt with these challenges to share their love of the novel with their students.

Like other books in the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, this volume is divided into two parts. Part 1, “Materials,” surveys editions of Middlemarch, background readings on the Victorian period, textual and critical studies, and audiovisual aids. In part 2, “Approaches,” contributors describe specific strategies for teaching the novel. Among the topics discussed are critical trends in the classroom (e.g., narrative theory, deconstruction, feminist criticism, reader-response analysis), teachers’ responses to student difficulties with the novel, textual and contextual perspectives, and ways instructors overcome curricular and institutional constraints. The volume also offers a chronology of the writing and publication of Middlemarch, a genealogical chart for its large cast of characters, and an extensive bibliography.