Adam Bede
George Eliot

Book cover image

Narrated By: Wanda McCaddon

Duration: 19 hours and 53 minutes

What to expect

George Eliot's first full-length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love.

Adam Bede is a hardy young carpenter who cares for his aging mother. His one weakness is the woman he loves blindly: the trifling town beauty, Hetty Sorrel, who delights only in her baubles—and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand.

Betrayed by their innocence, both Adam and Hetty allow their foolish hearts to trap them in a triangle of seduction, murder, and retribution. Only in the lovely Dinah Morris, a preacher, does Adam find his redemption.

Addressing questions of morality and the role of women in society, Adam Bedeexplores the dangers of relying on religious and social norms to govern destructive desires.


Classic fiction, Fiction: general and literary

Listen to a sample

Adam Bede has taken its place among the actual experiences and endurances of my life.”

Charles Dickens

“A first-rate novel.”

Times (London)

Adam Bede was Eliot’s first long novel. Its masterly realism—evident, for example, in the recording of Derbyshire dialect—brought to English fiction the same truthful observation of minute detail that John Ruskin was commending in the Pre-Raphaelites. But what was new in this work of English fiction was the combination of deep human sympathy and rigorous moral judgment.”