Who Was George Eliot?

A biography of English novelist George Eliot.

George Eliot

(Marian Evans)

The Greatest English Woman Novelist


While Marian Evans was a genius with the pen, one must look upon her with a feeling akin to sadness. While she had great literary ability, her conduct was looked upon with contempt by many over her contemporaries.

Marian Evans was born humble parents, who were, nevertheless, of sterling worth and who sought for their daughter educational advantages of which they had been deprived. They were religious people and sent Marian to a school kept by the misses Franklin, who were devout Methodists. She attended Sunday School as a child and was engaged in other religious works.

Under more advanced teachers she studied Latin, Greek, Italian, French, and German. She also became a pianist of much skill. She became an author and used the pen name of "╦ťGeorge Eliot'.

Her abilities brought her into acquaintance with many prominent people, among them several of liberal, rationalistic, and even atheistic views, "clever thinkers", learned doubters, dreamy theorists, but arrogant, discontented, and defiant.

Mr. Lewes was one of this number. She became attached to him and even though he had a wife living, she lived with him for twenty years. They were both people of genius and their tastes were compatible, but these things can never excuse the disregard and defiance of God's laws.

After the death of Mr. Lewes, Marian, being fifty-nine years old, married Mr. John Walter Cross, who was much younger than herself.

If one can look past her private life, you will find that she is no doubt one of the greatest authors of the nineteenth century. Her chief works are "Adam Bede", "The Mill on the Floss", Silas Marner", "Romola", "Felix Holt", "Middlemarch", "Daniel Deronda", and "Theophrastus Such".

George Eliot is an artist in delineating character in its development. Too often, however, it is a downward development; illicit love is found in nearly all her works.

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