Middlemarch at 150: The Portico Big Read

  • DATE

    29 September 2022

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome


    Free (but please book)


    The Portico Library
    57 Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3HY

Join us in 2022 to evaluate this classic nineteenth century novel that follows the fortunes of men and women in a Midland town in the 1830s.

It is 150 years this year since the final volume of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life was published and the Portico Library has first editions of each volume. In the last volume there is a note pasted into the front of this 1872 edition in which someone has written that its ‘reputation which shall last as long as there is an English Literature’.

A group of us have been reading Middlemarch volume by volume in the Portico Library since June and we’ve invited Professor Michael Sanders from the University of Manchester and Dr Emma Liggins from Manchester Metropolitan University to share why they think Middlemarch will always have a profound literary reputation and why it is a ‘good read’.

This event is open to all but please be aware that if you haven’t read to the end of the novel, there will be spoilers!
Doors open 6pm, event starts 6.15pm.

Professor Mike Sanders teaches Victorian Literature at the University of Manchester. He has an abiding interest in all things Chartist and is the author of The Poetry of Chartism: Aesthetics, Politics, History. He thinks Timothy Cooper is the unrecognised hero of Middlemarch!

Dr Emma Liggins is a Reader in English Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University. She teaches Victorian and modernist literature, and is particularly interested in women writers and the Gothic. Recent books include Odd Women? Spinsters, Lesbians and Widows in British Women’s Fiction, 1850s-1930s (Manchester University Press, 2014) and The Haunted House in Women’s Ghost Stories, 1850-1940 (Palgrave, 2020). Her favourite chapters of Middlemarch are Dorothea’s experiences in Rome.