George Eliot BNF Gallica

George Eliot (1819-1880), circa 1865. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

George Eliot
Born Mary Anne Evans
November 22 1819(1819-Template:MONTHNUMBER-22)
South Farm, Arbury Hall, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Died December 22 1880(1880-Template:MONTHNUMBER-22) (aged 61)
4 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London, England
Resting place Highgate Cemetery (East), Highgate, London
Pen name George Eliot
Occupation Novelist
Period Victorian
Notable work(s) The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), Daniel Deronda (1876)
Spouse(s) John Cross (m. 1880)
Partner(s) George Henry Lewes (lived together 1854–1878)
Relative(s) Robert Evans and Christiana Pearson (parents); Christiana, Isaac, Robert, and Fanny (siblings)

George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Anne (sometimes Mary Ann or Marian) Evans (22 November 1819 - 22 December 1880), an English poet, novelist, journalist, and translator, considered a leading writer of the Victorian era. She is the author of 7 novels, most of them set in provincial England and well known for their realism and psychological insight.


Eliot was born near Nuneaton, Warwickshire, daughter of land agent Robert Evans, a man of strong individuality. Her education was completed at a school in Coventry, and after the death of her mother in 1836, and the marriage of her elder sister, she kept house for her father until his death in 1849. In 1841 they gave up their house in the country, and went to live in Coventry. Here she made the acquaintance of Charles Bray, a writer on phrenology, and his brother-in-law Charles Hennell, a rationalistic writer on the origin of Christianity, whose influence led her to renounce the evangelical views in which she had been brought up. In 1846 she engaged in her first literary work, the completion of a translation begun by Mrs. Hennell of Strauss's Life of Jesus. On her father's death she went abroad with the Brays, and, on her return in 1850, began to write for the Westminster Review, of which during 1851-1853 she was assistant-editor. In this capacity she was much thrown intopage 132 the society of Herbert Spencer and George Henry Lewes, with the latter of whom she in 1854 entered into an irregular connection which lasted until his death. In the same year she translated Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity, the only 1 of her writings to which she attached her real name. It was not until she was nearly 40 that she appears to have discovered the true nature of her genius; for it was not until 1857 that The Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, and announced that a new writer of singular power had arisen. It was followed by Mr. Gilfil's Love Story and Janet's Repentance, all three being reprinted as Scenes from Clerical Life (1857); Adam Bede was published in 1859; The Mill on the Floss (in its earlier chapters largely autobiographical) in 1860; Silas Marner, perhaps the most artistically constructed of her books, in 1861. In 1860 and 1861 she visited Florence with the view of preparing herself for her next work, Romola, a tale of the times of Savonarola, which appeared in 1863 in the Cornhill Magazine. Felix Holt the Radical followed in 1866. Eliot. now for a time abandoned novel-writing and took to poetry, and between 1868 and 1871 produced The Spanish Gipsy, Agatha, The Legend of Jubal, and Armgart. These poems, though containing much fine work, did not add to her reputation, and in fact in writing them she had departed from her true vocation. Accordingly, she returned to fiction, and in Middlemarch, which appeared in parts in 1871-1872, she was by many considered to have produced her greatest work. Daniel Deronda, which came out in 1874-1876, was greatly inferior, and it was her last novel. In 1878 Lewes died, an event which plunged her into melancholy, which was, however, alleviated by the kindness of John Cross, who had been the intimate friend of both Lawes and herself, and whom she married in March 1880. The union was a short one, being terminated by her death on December 22 in the same year..[1]

Eliot used a male pen name, she said, to ensure her works were taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot's life, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women writing only lighthearted romances. An additional factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny and to prevent scandals attending her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes, with whom she lived for over 20 years.[2]

Eliot will probably always retain a high place among writers of fiction. Her great power lies in the minute painting of character, chiefly among the lower middle classes, shopkeepers, tradesmen, and country folk of the Midlands, into whose thoughts and feelings she had an insight almost like divination, and of whose modes of expression she was complete mistress. Her general view of life is pessimistic, relieved by a power of seizing the humorous elements in human stupidity and ill-doing. There is also, however, much seriousness in her treatment of the phases of life upon which she touches, and few writers have brought out with greater power the hardening and degrading effects of continuance in evil courses, or the inevitable and irretrievable consequences of a wrong act. Her descriptions of rural scenes have a singular charm.[1]


Youth and educationEdit

File:George Eliot's birthplace - South Farm - Arbury Project - Gutenberg eText 19222.jpg

Evans was the third child of Robert Evans (1773–1849) and Christiana Evans née Pearson (1788–1836), the daughter of a local farmer. Mary Anne's name was sometimes shortened to Marian.[3] Her full siblings were Christiana, known as Chrissey (1814–59), Isaac (1816–1890), and twin brothers who survived a few days in March 1821. She also had a half-brother, Robert (1802–64), and half-sister, Fanny (1805–82), from her father's previous marriage to Harriet Poynton (?1780–1809). Robert Evans, of Welsh ancestry, was the manager of the Arbury Hall estate for the Newdigate family in Warwickshire, and Mary Anne was born on the estate at South Farm. In early 1820 the family moved to a house named Griff, between Nuneaton and Bedworth.

The young Evans was obviously intelligent and a voracious reader. Because she was not considered physically beautiful, and thus not thought to have much chance of marriage, and because of her intelligence, her father invested in an education not often afforded women.[4] From ages 5 to 9, she boarded with her sister Chrissey at Miss Latham's school in Attleborough, Warwickshire; from ages 9 to 13 at Mrs. Wallington's school in Nuneaton; and from ages 13 to 16 at Miss Franklin's school in Coventry. At Mrs. Wallington's school, she was taught by the evangelical Maria Lewis, to whom her earliest surviving letters are addressed. In the religious atmosphere of the Miss Franklin's school, Evans was exposed to a quiet, disciplined belief opposed to evangelicalism.[5]

After age 16, Eliot had little formal education.[6] Thanks to her father's important role on the estate, she was allowed access to the library of Arbury Hall, which greatly aided her self-education and breadth of learning. Her classical education left its mark; Christopher Stray has observed that "George Eliot's novels draw heavily on Greek literature (only one of her books can be printed correctly without the use of a Greek typeface), and her themes are often influenced by Greek tragedy".[7] Her frequent visits to the estate also allowed her to contrast the wealth in which the local landowner lived with the lives of the often much poorer people on the estate, and different lives lived in parallel would reappear in many of her works. The other important early influence in her life was religion. She was brought up within a narrow low church Anglican family, but at that time the Midlands was an area with a growing number of religious dissenters.

Move to CoventryEdit

In 1836 her mother died and Evans (then 16) returned home to act as housekeeper, but she continued correspondence with her tutor Maria Lewis. When she was 21, her brother Isaac married and took over the family home, so Evans and her father moved to Foleshill near Coventry. The closeness to Coventry society brought new influences, most notably those of Charles and Cara Bray. Charles Bray had become rich as a ribbon manufacturer and had used his wealth in building schools and other philanthropic causes. Evans, who had been struggling with religious doubts for some time, became intimate friends with the progressive, free-thinking Brays, whose home was a haven for people who held and debated radical views. The people whom the young woman met at the Brays' house included Robert Owen, Herbert Spencer, Harriet Martineau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Through this society, Evans was introduced to more liberal theologies, and writers such as David Strauss and Ludwig Feuerbach, who cast doubt on the literal veracity of Biblical stories. In fact, her first major literary work was translating into English Strauss' Life of Jesus (1846), which she completed after it had been begun by another member of the Rosehill circle.

When Evans began to question her religious faith, her father threatened to throw her out, although that did not happen. Instead, she respectably attended church for years and continued to keep house for him until his death in 1849, when she was 30. Five days after her father's funeral, she travelled to Switzerland with the Brays. She decided to stay in Geneva alone, living first on the lake at Plongeon (near the present United Nations buildings) and then at the Rue de Chanoines (now the Rue de la Pelisserie) with François and Juliet d’Albert Durade on the second floor ("one feels in a downy nest high up in a good old tree"). Her stay is recorded by a plaque on the building. She read avidly and took long walks amongst a natural environment that inspired her greatly. François painted a portrait of her.[8]

London and the Westminster ReviewEdit

On her return to England the following year (1850), she moved to London with the intent of becoming a writer and calling herself Marian Evans. She stayed at the house of John Chapman, the radical publisher whom she had met at RosehillTemplate:Where and who had printed her translation. Chapman had recently bought the campaigning, left-wing journal The Westminster Review, and Evans became its assistant editor in 1851. Although Chapman was the named editor, it was Evans who did much of the work in running the journal, contributing many essays and reviews, from the January, 1852 number until the dissolution of her arrangement with Chapman in the first half of 1854.[9]

Women writers were not uncommon at the time, but Evans's role at the head of a literary enterprise was. The mere sight of an unmarried young woman mixing with the predominantly male society of London at that time was unusual, even scandalous to some.(Citation needed) Although clearly strong-minded, she was frequently sensitive, depressed, and crippled by self-doubt.(Citation needed) She was considered to have an ill-favoured appearance,[10] and she formed a number of embarrassing, unreciprocated emotional attachments, including that to her employer, the married Chapman, and Herbert Spencer.

Relationship with George LewesEdit

File:George Eliot by Samuel Laurence.jpg

The philosopher and critic George Henry Lewes met Evans in 1851, and by 1854 they had decided to live together. Lewes was married to Agnes Jervis, but they had agreed to have an open marriage, and in addition to the 3 children they had together, Agnes had also had 4 children by Thornton Leigh Hunt.[11] Since Lewes was named on the birth certificates as the father of these children despite knowing this to be false, and was therefore considered complicit in adultery, he was not able to divorce Agnes. In July 1854, Lewes and Evans travelled to Weimar and Berlin together for the purpose of research. Before going to Germany, Evans continued her interest in theological work with a translation of Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity, and while abroad she wrote essays and worked on her translation of Baruch Spinoza's Ethics, which she completed in 1856, but which was not published in her life-time.[12]

The trip to Germany also served as a honeymoon as Evans and Lewes now considered themselves married, with Evans calling herself Marian Evans Lewes, and referring to Lewes as her husband. It was not unusual for men and women in Victorian society to have affairs; Charles Bray, John Chapman, Friedrich Engels, and Wilkie Collins all had affairs, though more discreetly than Lewes and Evans. What was scandalous was their open admission of the relationship.


File:4 Cheyne Walk GE ILN 1881.jpg

While continuing to contribute pieces to the Westminster Review, Evans had resolved to become a novelist, and she set out a manifesto for herself a late essaysfor the Review, "Silly Novels by Lady Novelists"[13] (1856). The essay criticised the trivial and ridiculous plots of contemporary fiction by women. In other essays she praised the realism of novels written in Europe at the time, and an emphasis placed on realistic storytelling would become clear throughout her subsequent fiction. She also adopted a new nom-de-plume, the one for which she would become best known: George Eliot. This masculine name was chosen partly in order to distance herself from the lady writers of silly novels, but it also quietly hid the tricky subject of her marital status.(Citation needed)

In 1858 (when she was 39) Amos Barton, the first of the Scenes of Clerical Life, was published in Blackwood's Magazine and, along with the other Scenes, was well received. Her earliest complete novel, published in 1859, was Adam Bede and was an instant success, but it prompted an intense interest in who this new author might be. Scenes of Clerical Life was widely believed to have been written by a country parson or perhaps the wife of a parson. With the release of the incredibly popular Adam Bede, speculation increased markedly, and there was even a pretender to the authorship, a Joseph Liggins. In the end, the real George Eliot stepped forward: Marian Evans Lewes admitted she was the author.

The revelations about Eliot's private life surprised and shocked many of her admiring readers, but this apparently did not affect her popularity as a novelist. Eliot's relationship with Lewes afforded her the encouragement and stability she so badly needed to write fiction, and to ease her self-doubt, but it would be some time before they were accepted into polite society. Acceptance was finally confirmed in 1877, when they were introduced to Princess Louise, the daughter of Queen Victoria, who was an avid reader of George Eliot's novels.(Citation needed)

After the popularity of Adam Bede, she continued to write popular novels for the next fifteen years. Within a year of completing Adam Bede, she finished The Mill on the Floss, inscribing the manuscript: "To my beloved husband, George Henry Lewes, I give this MS. of my third book, written in the sixth year of our life together, at Holly Lodge, South Field, Wandsworth, and finished 21 March 1860."

Her last novel was Daniel Deronda, published in 1876, whereafter she and Lewes moved to Witley, Surrey; but by this time Lewes's health was failing and he died two years later on 30 November 1878. Eliot spent the next two years editing Lewes's final work Life and Mind for publication, and she found solace with John Walter Cross, a Scottish commission agent,[14] whose mother had recently died.

Marriage to John Cross and deathEdit

File:Eliot George grave.jpg

On 16 May 1880 Eliot courted controversy once more by marrying a man 20 years younger than herself, and again changing her name, this time to Mary Anne Cross. The legal marriage at least pleased her brother Isaac, who had broken off relations with his sister when she had begun to live with Lewes, but now sent congratulations. John Cross was a rather unstable character, and apparently jumped or fell from their hotel balcony into the Grand Canal in Venice during their honeymoon. Cross survived and they returned to England. The couple moved to a new house in Chelsea but Eliot fell ill with a throat infection. This, coupled with the kidney disease she had been afflicted with for the previous few years, led to her death on 22 December 1880 at the age of 61.[15]

Eliot was not buried in Westminster Abbey because of her denial of the Christian faith and her "irregular" though monogamous life with Lewes. She was interred in Highgate Cemetery (East), Highgate, London in the area reserved for religious dissenters or agnostics, next to George Henry Lewes; Karl Marx's memorial is nearby.

In 1980, on the centenary of her death, a memorial stone was established for her in the Poets' Corner.


File:George Eliot 7.jpg

Throughout her career, Eliot wrote with a politically astute pen. From Adam Bede to The Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner, Eliot presented the cases of social outsiders and small-town persecution. Felix Holt, the Radical and The Legend of Jubal were overtly political, and political crisis is at the heart of [iddlemarch, in which she presents the stories of a number of denizens of a small English town on the eve of the Reform Bill of 1832; the novel is notable for its deep psychological insight and sophisticated character portraits, the roots of this realist philosophy in her review of John Ruskin's Modern Painters in Westminster Review in 1856.

Readers in the Victorian era particularly praised her books for their depictions of rural society, for which she drew on her own early experiences, and she shared with Wordsworth the belief that there was much interest and importance in the mundane details of ordinary country lives. Eliot did not, however, confine herself to her bucolic roots. Romola, an historical novel set in late 15th century Florence and touching on the lives of several real persons such as the priest Girolamo Savonarola, displays her wider reading and interests. In The Spanish Gypsy , Eliot made a foray into verse, creating a work whose initial popularity has not endured.

The religious elements in her fiction also owe much to her upbringing, with the experiences of Maggie Tulliver from The Mill on the Floss sharing many similarities with the young Mary Anne Evans's own development. When Silas Marner is persuaded that his alienation from the church means also his alienation from society, the author's life is again mirrored with her refusal to attend church. She was at her most autobiographical in Looking Backwards, part of her final printed work Impressions of Theophrastus Such.

Critical introductionEdit

by Thomas Humphry Ward

Leslie Stephen has put it on record that “neither critics nor general readers have been convinced that George Eliot was properly a poet, though she may be allowed to represent almost the highest excellence that can be attained in verse by one whose true strength lies elsewhere.” The history of her first serious poem, The Spanish Gypsy, is a proof that verse composition did not come naturally to her, for she found the difficulties immense, almost insuperable; after eight months’ work she became “ill and very miserable;” and finally Lewes induced her to give up the poem and to turn back to prose. So Felix Holt was written and published (1865–18666); but afterwards, as she told Frederic Harrison, she found it "impossible to abandon" the poem, though she, who had "never recast anything before," found it necessary to recast and alter, which she did most thoroughly. Originally it had been written as a five-act drama; the new version, which occupied her for a couple of years, was a hybrid affair, the dramatic scenes being oddly connected by long passages of narrative. The result is as though some commentator on Shakespeare or Sophocles were to run his notes into metrical form, and print them in the text, between the scenes. We need dwell no longer on The Spanish Gypsy, leaving it with the remark that it shows, as might be expected, much learning, and that it abounds in passages of sonorous rhetoric.

A higher claim to purely poetic distinction is made by some of the miscellaneous verse that followed later, especially by The Legend of Jubal and some of the poems now bound up with it. They all want spontaneity; of a lyrical gift there are few signs; but to say that they are too much interfused with philosophy is only to say that they express the thoughts which, ever since she and George Lewes came together, possessed the author’s mind. We quote some passages from Jubal and the well-known "O May I Join the Choir Invisible".

The Jubal extracts embody really poetical visions, the former of the earliest consciousness of death in the primeval world, and the latter of an early dawning of civilization; while the "Choir Invisible" is noteworthy both for the quality of the blank verse and for its concentrated and beautiful expression of some of the central beliefs of the author and of the thousands of minds with which she was in close intellectual sympathy.[16]

Critical reputation Edit

By the time of Daniel Deronda, Eliot's sales were falling off, and she faded from public view to some degree. This was not helped by the biography written by her husband after her death, which portrayed a wonderful, almost saintly, woman totally at odds with the scandalous life people knew she had led. In the 20th century she was championed by a new breed of critics, most notably by Virginia Woolf, who called Middlemarch "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people".[17]


Several key buildings in her birthplace of Nuneaton are named after her or titles of her novels. For example The George Eliot School (Previously George Eliot Community School) and Middlemarch Junior School. In 1948, Nuneaton Emergency Hospital was named George Eliot Hospital in Eliot's honour.[18] George Eliot Road, in Foleshill, Coventry was named in her honour.

A memorial stone for Eliot was unveiled 21 June 1980 in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.[19]

In popular cultureEdit

The various film and television adaptations of Eliot's books have re-introduced her to the wider-reading public.


Legendofjubalot00elio 0001



Short fictionEdit


  • Essays (collected & arranged by Nathan Shepherd). New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1883.[25]
  • Essays (edited by Thomas Pinney). New York: Columbia University Press, 1963; London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1963. 


Collected editions Edit

  • Works. (24 volumes), Edinburgh & London: Blackwood (Cabinet Edition), 1878-1885. 


  • David Friedrich Strauss, The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined (as "Marian Evans"). (3 volumes, London: Chapman, 1846. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III.
  • Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity (as "Marian Evans"). London: Chapman (Chapman's Quarterly Series VI), 1854. 

Letters and notebooksEdit

  • George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals (edited by John W. Cross). (3 volumes), Edinburgh & London: Blackwood, 1885. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III.
  • Quarry for Middlemarch (edited by Anna T. Kitchel). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950. 
  • Some George Eliot Notebooks: An edition of the Carl H. Pforzheimer Library's George Eliot Holograph Notebooks, Mss. 707, 708, 709, 710, 711 [the Daniel Deronda notebooks] (edited by William Baker). Salzburg: Universitat Salzburg, 1976. 
  • The George Eliot Letters (edited by Gordon S. Haight). (9 volumes), New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1954-1955; 1978. 
  • George Eliot's Middlemarch Notebooks: A transcription (edited by John Clark Pratt & Victor A. Neufeldt). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. 
  • A Writer's Notebook, 1854-1879Uncollected Writings (edited by Joseph Wiesenfarth). Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1981. 


Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy Dictionary of Literary Biography.[28]

Poems by George EliotEdit

George Eliot "Roses"Poem animation-0

George Eliot "Roses"Poem animation-0

Count That Day Lost by George Eliot-1459130789

Count That Day Lost by George Eliot-1459130789

  1. The Roses

See alsoEdit


  • Gordon S. Haight, George Eliot: A Biography, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1968, ISBN 0-19-811666-7.
  • Haight, Gordon S., ed., George Eliot: Letters, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1954, ISBN 0-300-01088-5.
  • Uglow, Jennifer, George Eliot, London: Virago, 1987, ISBN 0-394-75359-3.
  • Jenkins, Lucien, Collected Poems of George Eliot, London: Skoob Books, 1989, ISBN 1-871438-35-7
  • Wahba, Magdi (1981). Centenary Essays on George Eliot. Cairo, Egypt: Cairo Studies in English. .

Context and backgroundEdit

  • Beer, Gillian, Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983, ISBN 0-521-78392-5.
  • Beer, Gillian, George Eliot, Prentice Hall / Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1986, ISBN 0-7108-0511-X.
  • Chapman, Raymond, The Sense of the Past in Victorian Literature, London, CroomHelm, 1986, ISBN 0-7099-3441-6.
  • Cosslett, Tess, The 'Scientific Movement' and Victorian Literature, Brighton, Harvester, 1982, ISBN 0-312-70298-1.
  • Gilbert, Sandra M., and Gubar, Susan, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1979, ISBN 0-300-08458-7.
  • Hughes, Kathryn, George Eliot: The Last Victorian, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998, ISBN 0-374-16138-0.
  • Edel, Leon (ed.) Henry James: Selected Letters, Belknap Press (1990) ISBN 0674387945
  • Pinney, Thomas, ed., Essays of George Eliot, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1963, ISBN 0-231-02619-6.
  • Rignall, John, ed., 'Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot', Oxford University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-19-860099-2
  • Rignall, John, ed., 'George Eliot and Europe', Scolar Press, 1997, ISBN 1-85928-334-9
  • Shuttleworth, Sally, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science: The Make-Believe of a Beginning, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-521-25786-7.
  • Thompson, Andrew, 1998, 'George Eliot and Italy: Literary, Cultural and Political Influences from Dante to the Risorgimento, New York, St. Martin's Press, 1998, ISBN 0-312-17651-1.
  • Uglow, Jenny, George Eliot, London, Virago Press, 1988, ISBN 0 86068 400 8.
  • Willey, Basil, Nineteenth-Century Studies: Coleridge to Matthew Arnold, London, Chatto & Windus, 1964, ISBN 0-14-021709-6.
  • Williams, Raymond, The Country and the City, London, Chatto & Windus, 1973, ISBN 0-19-519810-7.

Critical studiesEdit

  • Alley, Henry, "The Quest for Anonymity: The Novels of George Eliot", University of Delaware Press, 1997.
  • Ashton, Rosemary, George Eliot, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • Beaty, Jerome, Middlemarch from Notebook to Novel: A Study of George Eliot's Creative Method, Champaign, Illinois, University of Illinois, 1960.
  • Carroll, Alicia, Dark Smiles: Race and Desire in George Eliot, Ohio University Press, 2003.
  • Carroll, David, ed., George Eliot: The Critical Heritage, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971.
  • Daiches, David, George Eliot: Middlemarch, London, Edward Arnold, 1963.
  • Dentith, Simon, George Eliot, Brighton, Harvester, 1986.
  • Garrett, Peter K., The Victorian Multiplot Novel: Studies in Dialogical Form, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1980.
  • Graver, Suzanne, George Eliot and Community: A Study in Social Theory and Fictional Form, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1984.
  • Harvey, W.J., The Art of George Eliot, London, Chatto & Windus, 1961.
  • Kettle, Arnold. An Introduction to the English Novel, vol. I, London, Hutchinson, 1951.
  • Leavis, F.R., The Great Tradition, London, Chatto & Windus, 1948.
  • Neale, Catherine, Middlemarch: Penguin Critical Studies,London, Penguin, 1989
  • Swinden, Patrick, ed., George Eliot: Middlemarch, London, Macmillan, 1972.



  1. 1.0 1.1 John William Cousin, "Evans, Mary Ann or Marian," A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, 1910, 131-132. Web, Jan. 11, 2018.
  2. Karl, Frederick R. George Eliot: Voice of a Century. Norton, 1995. pp. 237–38.
  3. University of Virginia According to a University of Virginia research forum published here, her baptismal records record the spelling as Mary Anne, and she uses this spelling in her earliest letters. Around 1857, she began to use Mary Ann. In 1859, she was using Marian, but she reverted to Mary Ann in 1880. Template:Dead link
  4. Karl, Frederick R. George Eliot: Voice of a Century. Norton, 1995. pp. 24–25
  5. Karl, Frederick R. George Eliot: Voice of a Century. Norton, 1995. p. 31
  6. Karl, Frederick R. George Eliot: Voice of a Century. Norton, 1995. p. 52
  7. Christopher Stray Classics Transformed, p. 81
  8. Hardy BN. George Elliot: A Critic's Biography. Continuum. London 2006 pp42-45.
  9. Ashton, Rosemary. George Eliot: A Life. London: Penguin, 1997. 88ff. p110.
  10. She had a low forehead, a dull grey eye, a vast pendulous nose, a huge mouth full of uneven teeth and a chin and jawbone 'qui n'en finissent pas'... Now in this vast ugliness resides a most powerful beauty which, in a very few minutes, steals forth and charms the mind, so that you end, as I ended, in falling in love with her. Yes, behold me in love with this great horse-faced bluestocking. Henry James, in a letter to his father, published in Edel, Leon (ed.) Henry James: Selected Letters (1990)
  11. Henry, Nancy (2008). The Cambrindge Introduction to George Eliot. Cambridge: Cambridge. pp. 6. 
  12. Hughes, Kathryn, George Eliot: The Last Victorian, p168.
  13. "Silly Novels by Lady Novelists" text from The Westminster Review Vol. 66 old series, Vol. 10 new series (October 1856): 442–61.
  14. 1881 census
  15. "George Eliot". BBC History. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  16. from Thomas Humphry Ward, "Critical Introduction: George Eliot (Mary Ann Cross) (1819–1880)," The English Poets: Selections with critical introductions (edited by Thomas Humphry Ward). New York & London: Macmillan, 1880-1918. Web, Feb. 26, 2016.
  17. Woolf, Virginia. "George Eliot." The Common Reader. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1925. pp. 166–76.
  18. Nuneaton Emergency Hospital at the National Archives
  19. George Eliot, People, History, Westminster Abbey. Web, July 11, 2016.
  20. The Works of George Eliot: Poems (18--), Internet Archive. Web, Aug. 9, 2013.
  21. The Poems of George Eliot (n.d.), Internet Archive. Web, Aug. 9, 2013.
  22. The Complete Poetical Works of George Eliot (1888), Internet Archive. Web, Aug. 9, 2013.
  23. Poems (1902), Internet Archive. Web, Aug. 9, 2013.
  24. George Eliot, The Lifted Veil, eNotes. Web, Aug. 9, 2013.
  25. The Essays of George Eliot, Project Gutenberg. Web, Aug. 9, 2013.
  26. Tom and Maggie Tulliver, Project Gutenberg. Web, Aug. 9, 2013.
  27. The George Eliot Birthday Book (Not), Internet Archive. Web, Aug. 9, 2013.
  28. Joseph Wiesenfarth, George Eliot (1819-1880), Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 21: Victorian Novelists Before 1885 (edited by Ira B. Nadel& William E. Fredeman), Gale, 1983. pp. 145-170. Duke University, Web, Aug. 9, 2013.

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