George Eliot (November 22, 1819 – December 22, 1880; real name Mary Ann Evans) was born in Warwickshire, England. She is held in great literary esteem for her probing Victorian novels.
She wrote under a masculine pen name, believing she would be taken more seriously. Her writing was politically driven. The characters are small-town individuals, some free thinkers, each with great psychological depth, something she is greatly admired for. Eliot writes about the truth in the world; how actions are impacted by the society one is surrounded by. Although all her stories are fictional, her writing style heightens their realism.
An interest in visual art
Eliot is also recognized for her interest in and knowledge of the visual arts. Her surviving journals and other writings contain information on trips to museums and a collection of her thoughts and emotions connected to the art works she viewed. She also wrote poetry and translated works, but is best known for her novels.
Intellectually curious, financially secure
The daughter of a land agent, Eliot was from an early age intellectually curious. Deeply religious when young, she later broke with the Church. Her father left her with enough money to pursue her literary interests comfortably secure upon his death in 1849.
You might also like: Quotes by George Eliot
Companions and later years
Not long after, Eliot began working with the Westminster Review in London. There, in 1854, she met George Henry Lewes, an editor who would become her mentor and romantic companion until his death in 1878. Eliot remarried John Cross two years later; he was her friend and financial adviser. After a brief illness later that same year, Eliot died.
More about George Eliot on this site
- Adam Bede (1859)
- The Lifted Veil (1859)
- The Mill on the Floss (1860)
- Silas Marner (1861)
- Romola (1863)
- Felix Holt, the Radical (1866)
- Middlemarch (1871-72)
- Daniel Deronda (1876)
Biographies about George Eliot
- George Eliot: An Overview
- Reader discussions of George Eliot’s works on Goodreads
- Eliot’s books on Amazon
Film adaptations of George Eliot’s works
Articles, News, Etc.
- Charles Dickens’ Fan Letter to George Eliot
- Eliot Honored by the London County Council with a Blue Plaque
- Eliot’s Strangely Modern Life
- Great Literary Husbands: The Men Who Supported Genius
- 12 Genuinely Great Books About May-December Romances
- Handwritten Manuscript Pages From Classic Novels:
Eliot’s manuscript for Middlemarch
- Repressed Victorians? George Eliot Would Disagree
- Eliot Begins Writing Middlemarch (August 2, 1869)
Read and Listen
Visit George Eliot’s Home and Museums
- Aubury Estate – Warwickshire, UK
- Eliot Country Guided Tours – Warwickshire, UK
- Museum and Art Gallery – Warwickshire, UK
- Eliot – Chelsea Walk of London – Chelsea, London
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