Adam Bede (Penguin Classics)

Carpenter Adam Bede is in love with the beautiful Hetty Sorrel, but unknown to him, he has a rival, in the local squire’s son Arthur Donnithorne. Hetty is soon attracted by Arthur’s seductive charm and they begin to meet in secret. The relationship is to have tragic consequences that reach far beyond the couple themselves, touching not just Adam Bede, but many others, not least, pious Methodist Preacher Dinah Morris. A tale of seduction, betrayal, love and deception, the plot of Adam Bede has the quality of an English folk song. Within the setting of Hayslope, a small, rural community, Eliot brilliantly creates a sense of earthy reality, making the landscape itself as vital a presence in the novel as that of her characters themselves.

Reviews from

Write a review (you'll need to sign in to your Goodreads account or sign up) (showing 1-7 of 474)
By Chris (Philadelphia, PA) · ★★★★★ · March 22, 2015
George Eliot’s masterpiece is Middlemarch, but Adam Bede has always been my favorite Eliot novel. I’m not sure why this is. It might be because Bede was the first Eliot book I read. I doubt this, however, because the first Austen book I read was Pride and Prejudice, but my favorite Austen book is... ...more
By Pamela (The United States) · ★★★★★ · April 07, 2014
I'm a lifelong George Eliot fan, so it's strange that I just never got to Adam Bede before now. I suppose I was afraid it would fall short of Eliot's masterpieces, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, or even Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner. Adam Bede is in fact an "early" book; one senses Eliot wo... ...more
By Myla (Kaysville, UT) · ★★★★★ · September 14, 2008
I loved this book! It was just a mellow fun story to read nothing riviting me to my seat and then all of a sudden I was dying! I have never in my life been completely torn; I couldn't stop reading because I had to know what would happen at the same time I had to stop reading because I was afraid... ...more
By Suzanne (Great Neck, NY) · ★★★★★ · August 31, 2014
Adam Bede is a polished and delicately painted debut novel . George Eliot published Silas Marner and the Mill on the Floss in each of the next two years. How amazing! Adam Bede predates Hardy's Tess of D' Ubervilles by over 30 years and honestly, I found Eliot's novel more suspenseful and brutal.... ...more
By The_Bookchemist (Birmingham, The United Kingdom) · ★★★★★ · October 24, 2014
Though not especially fast nor overly thrilling, Adam Bede is a beautiful insight into a crucial moment in British history - and into the human condition in general - all inserted in the frame of a beautiful, surprisingly entertaining story.
Video-review: ...more
By Lizzie (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★☆☆ · August 10, 2014
I picked this copy up at the closing month sale at Skyline Books in NYC.

So this is my "last" gap book in my "Major Novels of George Eliot" subjective quest of the winter. Silas Marner is popular and Felix Holt is long, and someday soon I'll read both. But having taken a glance at some lit crit, I... ...more
By ☽ Moon Rose ☯ (Marilao, Bulacan, 布拉幹, 菲律賓 Филиппины , Philippines) · ★★★☆☆ · October 01, 2013
"In the midst of life we are in death."
Figuratively speaking, it is true enough to say that we die a thousand deaths in a single lifetime. As we live this life that seems only to thrive in human anguish, it makes every bit of suffering the same face of death that seems always at hand at every m... ...more