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Chapter 1
Outside Dorlcote Mill

A wide plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace. On this mighty tide the black ships—laden with the fresh-scented fir-planks, with rounded sacks of oil-bearing seed, or with the dark glitter of coal—are borne along to the town of St. Ogg’s, which shows its aged, fluted red roofs and the broad gables of its wharves between the low wooded hill and the river brink, tinging the water with a soft purple hue under the transient glance of this February sun. Far away on each hand stretch the rich pastures, and the patches of dark earth, made ready for the seed of broad-leaved green crops, or touched already with the tint of the tender-bladed autumn-sown corn. There is a remnant still of the last year’s golden clusters of beehive ricks rising at intervals beyond the hedgerows; and everywhere the hedgerows are studded with trees: the distant ships seem to be lifting their masts and stretching their red-brown sails close among the branches of the spreading ash. Just by the red-roofed town the tributary Ripple flows with a lively current into the Floss. How lovely the little river is, with its dark, changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander along the bank and listen to its low placid voice, as to the voice of one who is deaf and loving. I remember those large dipping willows. I remember the stone bridge.

And this is Dorlcote Mill. I must stand a minute or two here on the bridge and look at it, though the clouds are threatening, and it is far on in the afternoon. Even in this leafless time of departing February it is pleasant to look at—perhaps the chill damp season adds a charm to the trimly-kept, comfortable dwelling-house, as old as the elms and chestnuts that shelter it from the northern blast. The stream is brimful now, and lies high in this little withy plantation, and half drowns the grassy fringe of the croft in front of the house. As I look at the full stream, the vivid grass, the delicate bright-green powder softening the outline of the great trunks and branches that gleam from under the bare purple boughs, I am in love with moistness, and envy the white ducks that are dipping their heads far into the water here among the withes, unmindful of the awkward appearance they make in the drier world above.

The rush of the water, and the booming of the mill, bring a dreamy deafness, which seems to heighten the peacefulness of the scene. They are like a great curtain of sound, shutting one out from the world beyond. And now there is the thunder of the huge covered waggon coming home with sacks of grain. That honest waggoner is thinking of his dinner, getting sadly dry in the oven at this late hour; but he will not touch it till he has fed his horses,—the strong, submissive, meek-eyed beasts, who, I fancy, are looking mild reproach at him from between their blinkers, that he should crack his whip at them in that awful manner as if they needed that hint! See how they stretch their shoulders up the slope towards the bridge, with all the more energy because they are so near home. Look at their grand shaggy feet that seem to grasp the firm earth, at the patient strength of their necks, bowed under the heavy collar, at the mighty muscles of their struggling haunches! I should like well to hear them neigh over their hardly-earned feed of corn, and see them, with their moist necks freed from the harness, dipping their eager nostrils into the muddy pond. Now they are on the bridge, and down they go again at a swifter pace, and the arch of the covered waggon disappears at the turning behind the trees.

Now I can turn my eyes towards the mill again, and watch the unresting wheel sending out its diamond jets of water. That little girl is watching it too: she has been standing on just the same spot at the edge of the water ever since I paused on the bridge. And that queer white cur with the brown ear seems to be leaping and barking in ineffectual remonstrance with the wheel; perhaps he is jealous, because his playfellow in the beaver bonnet is so rapt in its movement. It is time the little playfellow went in, I think; and there is a very bright fire to tempt her: the red light shines out under the deepening grey of the sky. It is time, too, for me to leave off resting my arms on the cold stone of this bridge. . . .

Ah, my arms are really benumbed. I have been pressing my elbows on the arms of my chair, and dreaming that I was standing on the bridge in front of Dorlcote Mill, as it looked one February afternoon many years ago. Before I dozed off, I was going to tell you what Mr. and Mrs. Tulliver were talking about, as they sat by the bright fire in the left-hand parlour, on that very afternoon I have been dreaming of.

chapter ii Mr. Tulliver, of Dorlcote Mill, Declares His Resolution About Tom

“What I want, you know,” said Mr. Tulliver—“what I want is to give Tom a good eddication; an eddication as’ll be a bread to him. That was what I was thinking of when I gave notice for him to leave the academy at Ladyday. I mean to put him to a downright good school at Midsummer. The two years at th’ academy ’ud ha’ done well enough, if I’d meant to make a miller and farmer of him, for he’s had a fine sight more schoolin’ nor I ever got: all the learnin’ my father ever paid for was a bit o’ birch at one end and the alphabet at th’ other. But I should like Tom to be a bit of a scholard, so as he might be up to the tricks o’ these fellows as talk fine and write with a flourish. It ’ud be a help to me wi’ these lawsuits, and arbitrations, and things. I wouldn’t make a downright lawyer o’ the lad—I should be sorry for him to be a raskill—but a sort o’ engineer, or a surveyor, or an auctioneer and vallyer, like Riley, or one o’ them smartish businesses as are all profits and no outlay, only for a big watch-chain and a high stool. They’re pretty nigh all one, and they’re not far off being even wi’ the law, I believe; for Riley looks Lawyer Wakem i the face as hard as one cat looks another. He’s none frightened at him.”

Mr. Tulliver was speaking to his wife, a blond comely woman in a fan-shaped cap (I am afraid to think how long it is since fan-shaped caps were worn—they must be so near coming in again. At that time, when Mrs. Tulliver was nearly forty, they were new at St. Ogg’s, and considered sweet things).

“Well, Mr. Tulliver, you know best: I’ve no objections. But hadn’t I better kill a couple o’ fowl and have th’ aunts and uncles to dinner next week, so as you may hear what sister Glegg and sister Pullet have got to say about it? There’s a couple o’ fowl wants killing!”

“You may kill every fowl i’ the yard, if you like, Bessy; but I shall ask neither aunt nor uncle what I’m to do wi’ my own lad,” said Mr. Tulliver, defiantly.

“Dear heart!” said Mrs. Tulliver, shocked at this sanguinary rhetoric, “how can you talk so, Mr. Tulliver? But it’s your way to speak disrespectful o’ my family; and sister Glegg throws all the blame upo’ me, though I’m sure I’m as innocent as the babe unborn. For nobody’s ever heard me say as it wasn’t lucky for my children to have aunts and uncles as can live independent. Howiver, if Tom’s to go to a new school, I should like him to go where I can wash him and mend him; else he might as well have calico as linen, for they’d be one as yallow as th’ other before they’d been washed half-a-dozen times. And then, when the box is goin backards and forrards, I could send the lad a cake, or a pork-pie, or an apple; for he can do with an extry bit, bless him, whether they stint him at the meals or no. My children can eat as much victuals as most, thank God.”

“Well, well, we won’t send him out o’ reach o’ the carrier’s cart, if other things fit in,” said Mr. Tulliver. “But you mustn’t put a spoke i the wheel about the washin’, if we can’t get a school near enough. That’s the fault I have to find wi’ you, Bessy; if you see a stick i’ the road, you’re allays thinkin’ you can’t step over it. You’d want me not to hire a good waggoner, ’cause he’d got a mole on his face.” --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 576 pages
  • Editeur : Oxford Paperbacks; Édition : New Ed. / (10 juillet 2008)
  • Collection : World Classics
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0199536767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199536764
  • Dimensions du produit: 19,3 x 3,3 x 12,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Gérard Spitz le 5 novembre 2002
Format: Broché
Au programme du CAPES d'anglais,The Mill on the Floss est détaillée de manière très pointue dans cet ouvrage. En plus de contenir le texte de l'oeuvre, ce livre constitue pour les étudiants une référence indispensable dans leur préparation du concours.
Doté de nombreux éléments contemporains éclairant l'oeuvre sous plusieurs angles, il est fortement recommandé par les membres du jury !
Un MUST donc !
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9 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Un client le 19 août 2002
Format: Poche
The Mill on the Floss est une parfaite évocation du malheur de naître fille au XIXème siècle. Malgré ses talents naturels, l'héroïne, que nous suivons dès sa plus tendre enfance, ne pourra échapper à sa condition que par la mort.
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par jenny le 21 août 2011
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
je suis très satisfaite par cet article un livre bien écrit prenant et passionnant qui vaut la peine d'être lu
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113 internautes sur 117 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A work of great beauty, depth & an outstanding literary classic! 7 août 2005
Par Jana L. Perskie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Powerful and moving, "The Mill on the Floss" is considered to be George Eliot's most autobiographical novel. Along with "Middlemarch" it is my favorite. Set in early 19th century England - St. Ogg's, Lincolnshire to be exact - this is the tale of gifted, free-spirited Maggie Tulliver and her selfish, spoiled brother, Tom, who were born and raised at Dorlcote Mill on the River Floss. Eliot's portrayal of sibling relationships is terribly poignant and plays a major part in the novel, as does the longstanding rivalry between two local families - the Tullivers and the Wakems.

From earliest childhood Maggie worships her brother Tom, and longs to win his approval, and that of her parents. However, her fierce intelligence and strong streak of independence bring her into constant conflict with her family. She finds, in literature, the kindness and love she longs for in life. "...everybody in the world seemed so hard and unkind to Maggie: there was no indulgence, no fondness, such as she imagined when she fashioned the world afresh in her own thoughts. In books there were people who were always agreeable or tender, and delighted to do things that made one happy, and who did not show their kindness by finding fault. The world outside the books was not a happy one Maggie felt. If life had no love in it, what else was there for Maggie?" Her nature, complex, passionate, sensuous, noble, intellectualized, and spiritualized, is of great importance to this novel, as is the pathos of her relationship with Tom.

Maggie's early years are brilliantly and unsentimentally portrayed from a child's perspective. The author structures a sequence of childhood's phases, which might appear, at first, to be random vignettes, but constitute an excellent psychological basis on which to build a character and motivation. Eliot once stated, "my stories always grow out of my psychological conception of the dramatis personae." Thus, the author chronicles Maggie's life as she grows from a precocious little girl to a strikingly attractive young woman, tall with full lips, and a "crown" of jet black hair. Her lack of social pretension makes her even more charming and likeable. As she matures, her conflicts with her brother, her family, even with her community, increase significantly. She, herself, feels torn between what is considered her "moral responsibility" and her search for self-fulfillment. Ultimately, she demonstrates honor and courage in the face of the disapproval of a narrow, tradition-bound society.

Parallel to, and intertwined with Maggie's story, is that of families Tullivur and Wakem. After Tullivur loses his mill and social respectability through bankruptcy, (a loss precipitated by a rash lawsuit he undertook), Wakem purchases it all. Mr. Tullivur agrees to stay on as manager. At first he seems resigned to his misfortune. However, within the space of a few pages he is swearing vengeance on the new owner and cursing him. He actually summons Tom to inscribe his curse on Wakem in the family Bible, and makes his son swear to uphold it. The feud becomes violent when Wakem, in the role of proprietor, appropriately corrects Tullivur's management of the mill. Of course the criticism is taken as an insult, and shortly afterward, upon meeting his boss on the road, Tullivur horsewhips him in "a frenzy of triumphant vengeance." Tom sees this uncontrolled outbreak of madness as the result of long repressed hatred. Mr. Tullivur never repents his beating of Wakem. His injured pride and sense of righteous indignation, justify him in his own mind. This lack of forgiveness is also demonstrated by Tom for his sister. In direct contrast, Maggie couples love with forgiveness.

As she reaches adulthood, Maggie finds herself torn between her relationships with three extremely different men: her proud, stubborn brother, Tom; Philip Wakem, a beloved friend who is also the son of her family's worst enemy; and a charismatic but unacceptable suitor. When Tom is thrown suddenly into the role of adult, after his father's death, he becomes obsessed with acquiring social status and power. He attempts to arrange a socially advantageous marriage for Maggie, and when she refuses, he severs ties with her.

I won't spoil your read with any further discussion of the novel's details, especially the dramatic conclusion. George Eliot writes with a keen sense of humor, especially when addressing the grotesque in the human character. Her narrative has great depth, as insight to character and social observations are more important to Eliot than pace and action. "The Mill On The Floss" is deeply romantic - a work of great beauty and a literary classic. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

"The Mill On The Floss" is based partially on Eliot's, (born Mary Ann Evans), own experiences with her family and her brother Isaac, who was three years older than she. Eliot's father, like Mr. Tulliver, was a businessman who had married a woman from a higher social class. His wife's sisters were rich, ultra-respectable, and self-satisfied. These maternal aunts provided the character models for the aunts in the novel. Like Maggie, Eliot was extremely intelligent, energetic, imaginative and unconventional. She did not fit traditional models of feminine beauty or behavior, causing her family a great deal of consternation. Eliot lived with a man who she had not married - a daring enterprise in Victorian England. By the time this novel was published, she had gained considerable notoriety as an "immoral woman."

In this edition writer and critic A. S. Byatt provides full explanatory notes and an Introduction further relating "Mill On The Floss" to George Eliot's own life and times.
JANA
47 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Sophisticated and Engaging Victorian Love Story 28 mai 2004
Par Nicholas S. Ludlum - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot, stands among the greatest nineteenth century British novels. As engaging and readable as anything by Austen or Dickens, this novel adds a degree of psychological and emotional complexity that few novels, of any period, can match.
The novel seems to have the breath of life in it, so that the characters and circumstances seem true and real, even to the modern reader so far removed from the pastoral life of two hundred years ago.
To those who may feel intimidated by the book, don't be. The writing is accessible to any 21st century literate and the controversies of Victorian-era farm life are far more compelling than they may appear at first blush. Give it a try; you won't be disappointed.
31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An autobiographical novel, that tells a good story. 12 janvier 2005
Par S. Schwartz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
George Eliot's works are varied and wonderful, and although this is not the book that she's most noted for, it is one that she held most dear. It is a "no-holds barred" autobiographical account of her own life. George Eliot's real name was Mary Anne Evans, but she used the pen name of George Eliot because society at that time thought it was not correct for women to be authors, and she wanted her books read on their own merits. In this book we read of Maggie Tulliver who was intelligent, imaginative, idealistic and ambitious like George (Mary Anne) herself. The book goes into the continuous conflict between Maggie and her environment, and the frustrations that she encounters in her search for fulfillment and love. George Eliot bared her soul in this novel, but it also contains her trademark wonderful dialogue and characterizations. I have read all George Eliot's works, and found them all richly and disturbingly illuminating. They certainly do make you think about her and the struggles that she encountered within the moral and religious strictures of her society.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great book for some, including me, contrived for others.. 11 janvier 2000
Par lazza - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
This was my first (of four, so far) George Eliot novel. It's also my favorite. Unlike Adam Bede or Silas Marner, I found the characters to be interesting and enjoyable. No, it's not a finely-crafted piece of literature like Middlemarch. And it might be a bit on the melodramatic side. But for some odd reason I found the story to be ultimately quite moving.
Other folks who I gave the book to gave it mixed results. No one disliked it, but most found the "brother-sister" element to be a bit corny. And pardon my sexism, but I thought the book would appeal more to women than men (since the main character is a teenage girl). Not so. This book is definitely "not for women only".
I imagine if you have a sentimental streak through your bones you will probably love this book.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Beautifully written, but unsuccessful as a novel 21 septembre 2006
Par Elizabeth A. Root - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
From a technical point of view, I think that the writing is superb: the description are vivid (I particularly loved the description of Maggie as a little Medusa with her snakes shorn.) The book is a mixture of the earnest and the farcical, and at points is extremely funny. The structure is carefully built, with the different metaphors of the river reflecting the state of mind of the characters. I found the end very unsatisfying, I was close to the end of the book before I found Maggie sympathetic, and I thought it failed the chief standard of a novel: to be an involving narrative.

I don't mind that the author speaks to the reader per se, but every time I got caught up in the narrative, it wasn't long before the story ground to a halt while Eliot delivered herself of a short essay. The nearly three pages asking the reader to think of villages on the Rhone and castles on the Rhine (neither of which I have ever seen), wore out my patience--it almost seemed like a joke. Both the critics that I read thought that modern readers were put off by the length of the book, but I can think of a lot of long modern novels. It's not so much the number of pages as the way they are filled.

Maggie Tulliver is apparently a seriously disturbed child, surrounded by insensitive adults who certainly can't help her. I feel sorry for her, but I don't like her. Wanting to be loved isn't the same as being lovable. For most of the book, Maggie is pretty self-absorbed. I pity her for her unpleasant relatives, but that doesn't mean that I find her sympathetic by contrast.

Maggie is destructively impulsive, probably hurting herself more than anyone else, but Eliot lost a great deal of my sympathy early on when Maggie allows her brother's rabbits to die of neglect. It is hard to understand how someone who is supposed to be devoted to him could have so completely forgotten his request to take care of them. The critics that I read pointed out that Maggie is always very sorry for what she does, but it seems to me that she is only sorry for how other people's annoyance will affect her. She never, until the end of the book, is remorseful at causing someone else pain. If she were, she would understand that her brother is reasonably angry, and not complain that he is cruel for not instantly forgiving her. Not to mention what the rabbits went through!

Eliot's view of Maggie and her father is that they are as they are, they cannot help themselves, but everyone else is responsible for their own conduct and for accommodating the Tullivers. I find it hard to be sympathetic to them when Eliot was so scathing about everyone else. I am probably projecting 21st century standards back on a 19th century book, but Tulliver acts against the advice of his wife and goes bankrupt in a law suit, which is rather self-centered and bullying. Maggie (and I suppose Eliot) feel that he should not be blamed for this. Certainly there is no point at railing at a person who is nearly comatose with distress, but he is in fact seriously at fault. [added later: I am reminded a bit of Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Both wives are presented in a very unflattering light as weak and trivial, but in fact they may be said to have a better grasp of reality than their more sympathetically portrayed but somewhat irresponsible spouses. One has to wonder what the authors were thinking in describing these women.]

I found Maggie much more sympathetic in Book 6 and after, but it and her romantic problems seemed a little contrived. The change in her from Book 5 is only partially accounted for; a lot of it is obviously just a set up for the Dramatic Ending.

I would like the book better if Eliot featured some intelligent resolution to Maggie's problems: she could have learned not to be so emotionally dependent upon her brother, she could have made another life for herself. The problems of her love life are indeed a dilemma and not easily solved, but the ending really seems like a cheat. I hope Eliot didn't mean this as encouragement for woman who found themselves at odds with social expectations. Even the reconciliation between Maggie and her brother makes me scoff. They had a big reconciliation scene earlier in the book and it didn't last, so this one doesn't seem meaningful. It is like the end of a television drama where decades of misunderstanding are permanently resolved in the last 60 seconds.

This is certainly a piece of literary history, and there are some great examples of writing in it, but I don't think it has held up as a novel.

And if you don't like this review, and even if you do, James M. Rawley has appended some very interesting comments, as well as writing an excellent review of his own.
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