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Adam Bede

George Eliot

Adam Bede, by George Eliot - click to see full size image

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Adam Bede is an historical novel, the first written by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), first published in 1859. The story takes place in Hayslope in 1799 - Hayslope is a rural town with a close-knit community. The plot revolves around four people - Hetty Sorrel (a beautiful young woman who works on her uncle's farm); Captain Arthur Donnithorne (a handsome and wealthy young man who stands to inherit his grandfather's estate); Adam Bede (a young, intelligent, and handsome carpenter); and Dinah Morris (Hetty's beautiful cousin). The title character Adam is in love with Hetty, but she is in love with Arthur. After having an affair with Arthur, Hetty finds herself pregnant - but preceeding events lead her to carry out an act which has tragic consequences for her.

It was hugely popular when it was first published - being done so under the name 'George Eliot' even though Mary Ann Evans was a well-published scholar at the time - and most reviews were in praise of the book although others, such as Henry James, criticised it for the times when the narrator seems to take over in an attempt to moralise and sway the readers opinions. Nonetheless, Adam Bede has remained in print since it was published and it has been adapted a few times into films, radio, and television programmes.

№ 37 in Anne Haight's List of Banned Books.

№ 46 in Goodreads 100 Best Nineteenth-Century British and Irish Novels.

This book has 357 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1859.

Production notes: This e-book of Adam Bede was published by Global Grey on the 4th October 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'Self-portrait as a Young Man' by Christian Seybold.

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