"A passionate rural drama enacted at the turn of the eighteenth century Carpenter Adam Bede, a man of deep integrity, hopes to marry the young butter-maker Hetty Sorrel, niece of the farming Poysers of Hayslope. But the beautiful Hetty, vain, self-centred and dreaming of a more glamorous destiny, is drawn into a love-affair with the youthfully well intentioned but self-indulgent Arthur Donnithorne, the future squire. The fatal consequences of her seduction will cast a shadow over Hetty's family, but the tragedy throws into high relief the character of preacher Dinah Morris. With its startling honesty and sharp humour, Adam Bede is George Eliot's most vivid and beguiling incarnation of rural life. The most comprehensive paperback edition available, with introduction, notes, selected criticism, text summary and chronology of George Eliot's life and times"