Hidden Lives: the Middlemarch fanlisting

 About this Fanlisting 

This is the fanlisting for one of my favourite books - Middlemarch, by George Eliot, and the TV adaptation of it. I first read Middlemarch as a teenager, at the time the TV series was made, and I have always admired it. It is a testament to George Eliot's breadth of mind, and keen observation of human character. At the heart of the novel is a longing to find the "life of sympathy" - a life guided an awareness of relationship and an understanding of one's fellow human beings. This is the starting point for the heroine, Dorothea, and her experience is echoed and contrasted with that of other characters in the novel. To me, Middlemarch is poignant portrayal of what happens when youthful idealism is faced with the realities of experience - the restrictions and demands of day-to-day life, the pressures of community. Some characters end with failure or disappointment, but others win through to a sense of purpose and find happiness. I think this realism is one of the great strengths of the novel. Although it was written nearly 150 years ago, its characters still seem very real and relevant. It does not deal with people who are set apart, the heroes or leaders who would be remembered by history, but with ordinary people. And in the end, Eliot conveys a sense of hope that these ordinary lives can make a difference, even if their actions seem unremarkable. This is what the title of this fanlisting refers to:

for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

 What is a Fanlisting? 

As the name implies, a fanlisting is basically a list of people who are fans of a particular subject. It is open for fans from all around the world to join, and can be a way of finding others online who share your interests. For more information, visit thefanlistings.org, the original and ever-growing online fanlistings directory.