I'd like to nominate Middlemarch by George Eliot.
Descriptions from Amazon:
It was George Eliot's ambition to create a world and portray a whole community--tradespeople, middle classes, country gentry--in the rising fictional provincial town of Middlemarch, circa 1830. Vast and crowded, rich in narrative irony and suspense, Middlemarch is richer still in character and in its sense of how individual destinies are shaped by and shape the community.
This panoramic work--considered the finest novel in English by many critics--offers a complex look at English provincial life at a crucial historical moment, and, at the same time, dramatizes and explores some of the most potent myths of Victorian literature. The text of this edition comes from the Clarendon Middlemarch, the first critical edition of the novel.
Set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during the years 1830-32, George Eliot's "Middlemarch" is a work of epic scope filled with numerous characters, which explores a plethora of themes including the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism and self-interest, religion and hypocrisy, political reform, and education. Considered one of the great works of the English language, George Eliot's "Middlemarch" was immensely popular upon original publication and remains one of the finest examples of the author's prolific and accomplished literary career.