I've finished it and am glad I read it. I admit to skimming over some especially lengthy bits of narrative but I was captured by the evolving stories of three more or less star-crossed couples and delighted by Eliot's sly depiction of various characters.
For example, two ladies talking of a third whose husband has been discovered to have some disgraceful secrets in his past:
"...Do you think any hint has reached her?"
"I should hardly think so," said Mrs. Tom Toller. "We hear that he is ill and has never stirred out of the house since the meeting on Thursday; but she was with her girls at church yesterday, and they had new Tuscan bonnets. Her own had a feather in it. I have never seen that her religion made any difference in her dress."
There are any number of little gems in the dialogue that I loved -- but I doubt that George Eliot, were she looking for publication today, would have an easy time of it. Tastes change and nowadays lengthy moralizing is generally frowned on.
And Dorothea's desire to subjugate herself to her elderly husband by becoming his amanuensis is fairly incomprehensible. (Now had there been chains, whips, and leather -- that might sell.)
It seems to me that the reading public's attention span is growing ever shorter. (I'm generalizing -- I know some still love lengthy tomes.) Is it the influence of texting and tweeting and social media of all sorts?
I know I find myself writing shorter paragraphs -- or rather, writing as I always have and then going back and seeing if that paragraph might read easier if it were broken in two.
Still, I'm going to continue to challenge myself by giving Mill of the Floss a whirl. Not immediately though. I need to reread Lev Grossman's The Magicians first. And I see that John has just downloaded Lee Child's Gone Tomorrow. It's been a while since I read a Reacher story. That will make an interesting change.