This paper aims at identifying the presence of “otherness” as represented by Europein George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch, as well as the function and uses of the space of this “great confederation”. Our analysis focuses upon the co-existence of, and tension between, a common European culture and the distinctive features of Victorian English national life. George Eliot, as well as other Victorian writers (Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy), seem to relate a varying time span of their characters’ lives to different European countries (Italy, France, Germany) not only to trace the history, growth and development of a human being, but also to provide a (critical) perspective on English matters. Our purpose is to define and describe the more general relation between Englishness andEurope, starting from the more particular level of these characters’ experiences abroad.
 Matthew Arnold, Lectures and Essays in Criticism,Ann Arbor, University ofMichigan Press, 1962, p. 284.