Hailed for its sympathetic and accurate rendering of nineteenth-century English pastoral life, Adam Bede was George Eliot's first full-length novel and a bestseller from the moment of publication. Eliot herself called it "a country story - full of the breath of cows and scent of hay." In the early days of the Napoleonic Wars, Adam Bede is hardworking carpenter with enormous physical strength and considerable force of will. But Adam has a single flaw, his blind love of Hetty Sorrel, a vain, shallow dairymaid who spurns Adam but is easily seduced by the local squire. The bitter and tragic consequences of her actions shake the very foundations of their serene rural community.
While Adam Bede represents a timeless story of seduction and betrayal, it is also a deeper, impassioned meditation on the irrevocable consequences of human actions and on moral growth and redemption through suffering.