About This Author

George Eliot

Portrait of Eliot, c. 1849
Portrait of Eliot, c. 1849

Born

Mary Anne Evans22 November 1819 Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom

Died

22 December 1880 Chelsea, London, England

Resting place

Highgate Cemetery, Highgate, London, UK

Pen name

George Eliot

Occupation

Novelist, poet, journalist, translator

Period

Victorian

Notable works

The Mill on the Floss ,Silas Marner ,Romola ,Middlemarch ,Daniel Deronda

Spouse

John Cross ( m.   1880 )

Partner

George Henry Lewes

Relatives

Robert EvansChristiana Pearson

Mary Ann Evans , known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She wrote seven novels, including Adam Bede , The Mill on the Floss , Silas Marner , Romola , Middlemarch , and Daniel Deronda , most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.

Although female authors were published under their own names during her lifetime, she wanted to escape the stereotype of women's writing being limited to lighthearted romances. She also wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic. Another factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny, thus avoiding the scandal that would have arisen because of her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes.

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Discover George Eliot Quotes and Sayings

Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love. - George Eliot

Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.

George Eliot

love jealousy anger
You should read history and look at ostracism, persecution, martyrdom, and that kind of thing. They always happen to the best men, you know. - George Eliot

You should read history and look at ostracism, persecution, martyrdom, and that kind of thing. They always happen to the best men, you know.

George Eliot

men history best
The only failure one should fear, is not hugging to the purpose they see as best. - George Eliot

The only failure one should fear, is not hugging to the purpose they see as best.

George Eliot

fear failure best
There is only one failure in life possible, and that is not to be true to the best one knows. - George Eliot

There is only one failure in life possible, and that is not to be true to the best one knows.

George Eliot

failure best
I'm proof against that word failure. I've seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best. - George Eliot

I'm proof against that word failure. I've seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.

George Eliot

fear failure best
The best augury of a man's success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world. - George Eliot

The best augury of a man's success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world.

George Eliot

success best
For what is love itself, for the one we love best? An enfolding of immeasurable cares which yet are better than any joys outside our love. - George Eliot

For what is love itself, for the one we love best? An enfolding of immeasurable cares which yet are better than any joys outside our love.

George Eliot

best
All the learnin' my father paid for was a bit o' birch at one end and an alphabet at the other. - George Eliot

All the learnin' my father paid for was a bit o' birch at one end and an alphabet at the other.

George Eliot

dad
Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them. - George Eliot

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.

George Eliot

death
In every parting there is an image of death. - George Eliot

In every parting there is an image of death.

George Eliot

death
Death is the king of this world: 'Tis his park where he breeds life to feed him. Cries of pain are music for his banquet. - George Eliot

Death is the king of this world: 'Tis his park where he breeds life to feed him. Cries of pain are music for his banquet.

George Eliot

music death
When death comes it is never our tenderness that we repent from, but our severity. - George Eliot

When death comes it is never our tenderness that we repent from, but our severity.

George Eliot

death
When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity. - George Eliot

When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.

George Eliot

great death
But human experience is usually paradoxical, that means incongruous with the phrases of current talk or even current philosophy. - George Eliot

But human experience is usually paradoxical, that means incongruous with the phrases of current talk or even current philosophy.

George Eliot

experience
Is it not rather what we expect in men, that they should have numerous strands of experience lying side by side and never compare them with each other? - George Eliot

Is it not rather what we expect in men, that they should have numerous strands of experience lying side by side and never compare them with each other?

George Eliot

men experience
In spite of his practical ability, some of his experience had petrified into maxims and quotations. - George Eliot

In spite of his practical ability, some of his experience had petrified into maxims and quotations.

George Eliot

experience