Middlemarch began as two separate books, the story of Dorothea Brooke in one and the young doctor Lydgate in the other. However, it was only when Eliot combined the two, that the project that became Middlemarch really took off.
I began Middlemarch with some trepidation. This was the book, arguably the greatest novel in the English language. This was the one I couldn't possibly not read and still say that I was a true student of English literature. And yes, the combination of January blues, a new job and an overload of literary criticism did nearly finish me off. But now the dust has settled, I can comfortably say 'hat's off' to George Eliot.