Adam Bede is an upstanding young carpenter whose greatest weakness is his infatuation with the self-absorbed village beauty, Hetty Sorrel. Hetty has secretly set her sights on Captain Arthur Donnithorne, heir to the local squireâs estate; his abandonment of her and her engagement to Adam set in motion a tragedy that will touch many peopleâs lives. When Hetty lands in prison, accused of murder and facing a sentence of execution by hanging, it is her fervent young cousin Dinah Morris, a Methodist preacher, whose intervention offers both Hetty and Adam comfort and the hope of peace.
The evocations of a lost rural world for which Adam Bede was so resoundingly praised on its publication in 1859 are charged in Eliotâs hands with a personal compassion that intensifies the novelâs outer dramas of seduction and betrayal and inner dramas of moral growth and redemption.
Â With an introduction by Leonee Ormond
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