Picture of author.

George Eliot (1819–1880)

Author of Middlemarch

494+ Works 54,591 Members 858 Reviews 316 Favorited
There is 1 open discussion about this author. See now.

About the Author

George Eliot was born Mary Ann Evans on a Warwickshire farm in England, where she spent almost all of her early life. She received a modest local education and was particularly influenced by one of her teachers, an extremely religious woman whom the novelist would later use as a model for various show more characters. Eliot read extensively, and was particularly drawn to the romantic poets and German literature. In 1849, after the death of her father, she went to London and became assistant editor of the Westminster Review, a radical magazine. She soon began publishing sketches of country life in London magazines. At about his time Eliot began her lifelong relationship with George Henry Lewes. A married man, Lewes could not marry Eliot, but they lived together until Lewes's death. Eliot's sketches were well received, and soon after she followed with her first novel, Adam Bede (1859). She took the pen name "George Eliot" because she believed the public would take a male author more seriously. Like all of Eliot's best work, The Mill on the Floss (1860), is based in large part on her own life and her relationship with her brother. In it she begins to explore male-female relations and the way people's personalities determine their relationships with others. She returns to this theme in Silas Mariner (1861), in which she examines the changes brought about in life and personality of a miser through the love of a little girl. In 1863, Eliot published Romola. Set against the political intrigue of Florence, Italy, of the 1490's, the book chronicles the spiritual journey of a passionate young woman. Eliot's greatest achievement is almost certainly Middlemarch (1871). Here she paints her most detailed picture of English country life, and explores most deeply the frustrations of an intelligent woman with no outlet for her aspirations. This novel is now regarded as one of the major works of the Victorian era and one of the greatest works of fiction in English. Eliot's last work was Daniel Deronda. In that work, Daniel, the adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman, gradually becomes interested in Jewish culture and then discovers his own Jewish heritage. He eventually goes to live in Palestine. Because of the way in which she explored character and extended the range of subject matter to include simple country life, Eliot is now considered to be a major figure in the development of the novel. She is buried in Highgate Cemetery, North London, England, next to her common-law husband, George Henry Lewes. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Works by George Eliot

Middlemarch (1871) 17,783 copies
Silas Marner (1861) 11,375 copies
The Mill on the Floss (1860) 8,742 copies
Adam Bede (1859) 4,217 copies
Daniel Deronda (1876) 3,759 copies
Romola (1862) 1,458 copies
Felix Holt, the Radical (1866) 1,052 copies
Scenes of Clerical Life (1858) 873 copies
Silas Marner and Two Short Stories (1973) — Author — 299 copies
Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings (1990) — Translator — 145 copies
Brother Jacob (1878) 142 copies
Middlemarch (1/2) (1893) 115 copies
Middlemarch (2/2) (1872) 74 copies
Collected poems (1989) 66 copies
100 Eternal Masterpieces of Literature - volume 1 (2017) — Contributor — 58 copies
Amos Barton (1857) 49 copies
Mr Gilfil's Love Story (1857) 31 copies
Janet's Repentance (2007) 27 copies
The Spanish Gypsy (2008) 26 copies
Romola / Theophrastus Such (1889) — Author — 21 copies
Adam Bede, Volume 2 of 2 (1999) 20 copies
Romola (1/2) (1892) — Author — 20 copies
How Lisa Loved the King (2010) 17 copies
Adam Bede, Volume 1 of 2 (1900) 17 copies
Romola (2/2) (1887) — Author — 16 copies
The Mill on the Floss (1/2) (1900) — Author — 15 copies
The Mill on the Floss (2/2) (1892) — Author — 14 copies
The Works of George Eliot (2010) 13 copies
Middlemarch (3/3) (2009) — Author — 13 copies
Scenes of Clerical Life (1/2) (2015) — Author — 12 copies
The George Eliot Letters (1954) 10 copies
Romola (1/3) 9 copies
The Poems of George Eliot (1884) 9 copies
Romola / Silas Marner — Author — 9 copies
Felix Holt / Theophrastus Such (1885) — Author — 9 copies
Works of George Eliot (1900) 9 copies
Romola (3/3) 9 copies
Miscellaneous Essays (1901) 9 copies
Essays of George Eliot (1963) 8 copies
Romola (2/3) 8 copies
Tom and Maggie Tulliver (1909) 8 copies
Scenes of Clerical Life (2/2) — Author — 8 copies
Middlemarch (1/3) (2004) — Author — 7 copies
Middlemarch (2/3) (2009) — Author — 7 copies
Adam Bede / The Mill on the Floss / Romola (1893) — Author — 7 copies
Silas Marner / Middlemarch (1964) — Author — 6 copies
Silas Marner (2/2) (2003) 5 copies
Eliot's works 5 copies
Silas Marner / Brother Jacob (1970) — Author — 5 copies
Edward Neville (1995) 4 copies
Silas Marner (1/2) (2003) 4 copies
El molino 3 copies
Middlemarch (Advanced) (1981) 3 copies
George Eliot's Works (1887) 3 copies
The Mill on the Floss / Romola — Author — 3 copies
Felix Holt; Poems (1900) 3 copies
Works 2 copies
The Best of George Eliot (2016) 2 copies
Two Lovers (1909) 2 copies
Theophrastus Such / The Spanish Gypsy — Author — 2 copies
Middlemarch 1 copy
Middlemarch 1 copy
MIDDLEMARCH (1987) 1 copy
Silas Marner 1 copy
Silas Marner (2023) 1 copy
Pendennis Siles Marner (1910) 1 copy
Six Pack 1 copy
Armgart 1 copy
Early essays (1977) 1 copy
Biographie 1 copy
Famous Women 1 copy
Zu Gast in Weimar (2019) 1 copy
Romola , Vol 1 (1900) 1 copy
The Life of Jesus (2010) 1 copy
Romola - Vols 1 & 2 (1900) 1 copy
Golden Grain 1 copy

Associated Works

Little Women (1868) — some editions — 26,578 copies
Ethics (1677) — Translator, some editions — 2,952 copies
One Hundred and One Famous Poems (1916) — Contributor, some editions — 1,955 copies
The Essence of Christianity (1841) — Translator, some editions; Translator, some editions — 895 copies
The Treasure Chest (1932) — Contributor — 260 copies
Atheism: A Reader (2000) — Contributor — 184 copies
The Portable Victorian Reader (1972) — Contributor — 176 copies
Aurora Leigh [Norton Critical Edition] (1996) — Contributor — 173 copies
Erotica: Women's Writing from Sappho to Margaret Atwood (1990) — Contributor — 168 copies
A Literary Christmas: An Anthology (2013) — Contributor — 137 copies
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Contributor — 119 copies
The Life of Jesus Critically Examined (1898) — Translator, some editions; Translator, some editions — 118 copies
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (1932) — Contributor — 116 copies
The Lifted Veil: Women's 19th Century Stories (2005) — Contributor — 114 copies
Great English Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (2005) — Contributor — 39 copies
Silas Marner (Radio Theatre) (2001) — Original novel — 38 copies
Writing Politics: An Anthology (2020) — Contributor — 35 copies
Trial and Error: An Oxford Anthology of Legal Stories (1998) — Contributor — 24 copies
Women on Nature (2021) — Contributor — 23 copies
Nineteenth-Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology (1996) — Contributor — 23 copies
Silas Marner [1985 film] (2007) — Original novel — 20 copies
Great English Short Stories (1930) — Contributor — 20 copies
Ghosts and Marvels (1924) — Contributor — 17 copies
Silas Marner | The Pearl (1959) 14 copies
Wings Over the World (1942) — Contributor — 13 copies
An Adult's Garden of Bloomers (1966) — Contributor — 7 copies
Great Love Scenes from Famous Novels (1943) — Contributor — 5 copies
30 Eternal Masterpieces of Humorous Stories (2017) — Contributor — 4 copies
Famous Stories of Five Centuries (1934) — Contributor — 4 copies
The Word Lives On: A Treasury of Spiritual Fiction (1951) — Contributor — 4 copies
A Book of Narratives (1917) — Contributor — 2 copies
A Reader for Writers — Contributor — 2 copies
Maestros Ingleses, Tomo III (1962) — Contributor — 2 copies
Klassisia kauhukertomuksia (2021) — Contributor — 2 copies
Adam Bede: A Play — Author — 1 copy

Tagged

1001 (329) 1001 books (358) 19th century (2,552) 19th century literature (328) American literature (361) anthology (294) British (967) British literature (1,019) children's (361) Civil War (298) classic (2,788) classic fiction (320) classic literature (421) classics (3,233) ebook (438) England (866) English (526) English literature (1,194) family (507) fiction (8,815) Folio Society (279) George Eliot (525) hardcover (232) historical fiction (509) Kindle (462) literature (2,081) novel (1,827) own (381) philosophy (834) poetry (819) read (720) religion (279) romance (338) sisters (337) to-read (3,621) unread (483) Victorian (1,162) Victorian literature (300) women (313) young adult (268)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Eliot, George
Legal name
Evans, Mary Ann
Other names
Evans, Marian
Cross, Mary Anne
Birthdate
1819-11-22
Date of death
1880-12-22
Burial location
Highgate Cemetery, London, England, UK
Gender
female
Nationality
UK
Country (for map)
England, UK
Birthplace
Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, UK
Place of death
London, England, UK
Cause of death
throat infection
Places of residence
Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, UK
London, England, UK
Education
Mrs. Wallington's School (Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, UK)
Occupations
novelist
editor
Relationships
Lewes, George Henry (husband)
Cross, J. W. (husband)
Hennell, Sara (friend)
Spencer, Herbert (friend)
Evans, Gwyn (great-nephew)
Short biography
Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880; alternatively Mary Anne or Marian, 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, Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862–63), Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), Middlemarch (1871–72) and Daniel Deronda (1876), 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.

Middlemarch has been described by the novelists Martin Amis[3] and Julian Barnes as the greatest novel in the English language. Published under the name J. T. Colgan.

Members

Discussions

George Eliot and George Henry Lewes in Legacy Libraries (March 2022)
March 2021: George Eliot in Monthly Author Reads (February 2022)
Group Read: Middlemarch, Second Thread in 75 Books Challenge for 2010 (October 2018)
Middlemarch: The Chatty Bits (Spoilers Go Here) in The Green Dragon (March 2015)
Group Read, September 2014: The Mill on the Floss in 1001 Books to read before you die (September 2014)
Middlemarch Group Read 2014 in 75 Books Challenge for 2014 (August 2014)
Middlemarch group read in 2014 Category Challenge (April 2014)
Daniel Deronda in Geeks who love the Classics (April 2013)
Group Read: Middlemarch, Third Thread in 75 Books Challenge for 2010 (February 2011)
Group Read: Middlemarch in 75 Books Challenge for 2010 (November 2010)
***Group Read: Middlemarch Books 7-8 in 1001 Books to read before you die (September 2010)
***Group Read: Middlemarch Books 5-6 in 1001 Books to read before you die (August 2010)
***Group Read: Middlemarch Books 3-4 in 1001 Books to read before you die (August 2010)
***Group Read: Middlemarch Prelude & Books 1-2 in 1001 Books to read before you die (August 2010)
Middlemarch in Victoriana (December 2009)
Middlemarch: Book I in Group Reads - Literature (May 2008)
Middlemarch (Spoilers Here) in Connecticut Nutmeggers (March 2008)
Middlemarch (SPOILER FREE) in Connecticut Nutmeggers (August 2007)

Reviews

Loved the narration --Nadia May (AKA Wanda McCaddon, Donada Peters)! Loved the story! Wondered if it should be mandatory reading for engaged couples (yes, a bit didactic, but not obnoxiously so).
 
Flagged
TraSea | 330 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
I love George Eliot's writing.
This is an 1860 tale with a timeless theme of family loyalty and expectations in a society where being female means being considered inferior to the opposite gender. That's only the beginning of Maggie's challenges.
 
Flagged
TraSea | 118 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
After enjoying Middlemarch, I decided to read all 7 of George Eliot's novels. This is the first, written in 1859. This one takes a wee bit of getting used to with the villager's way of speaking. I love Eliot's command of English, her broad breadth of knowledge, and the Spirituality she douses her stories in.
 
Flagged
TraSea | 69 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
A landmark book in my reading life. It rumbles away in the background long after the end. George Eliot is an incomparable writer. She was well ahead of the field in the English Novelists Stakes.
A great historical novel about a turbulent time among the Italian states. Soundly researched wherein the reader is left in no doubt about her thoroughness. Expertly plotted, providing tension through 700 pages. I was riveted from the start, just as I was when I read Daniel Deronda.
 
Flagged
ivanfranko | 18 other reviews | Apr 14, 2024 |

Lists

Europe (1)
100 (1)
1870s (1)
AP Lit (3)
1860s (4)
My TBR (4)
1850s (1)

Awards

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

A.S. Byatt Introduction, Editor
Gaston Leroux Contributor
Sun Tzu Contributor
George Sand Contributor
Theodor Fontane Contributor
Sir Walter Scott Contributor
John Webster Contributor
Blaise Pascal Contributor
Jane Austen Contributor
Alphonse Daudet Contributor
Thomas Dekker Contributor
Henri Barbusse Contributor
Mary Shelley Contributor
Fyodor Dostoyevsky Contributor
Guy de Maupassant Contributor
Honore de Balzac Contributor
Emily Brontë Contributor
Anne Brontë Contributor
Honoré de Balzac Contributor
Arthur Machen Contributor
Washington Irving Contributor
Louisa May Alcott Contributor
Alexandre Dumas Contributor
H. P. Lovecraft Contributor
Edgar Allan Poe Contributor
E. M. Forster Contributor
Herman Melville Contributor
Lewis Carroll Contributor
Dante Alighieri Contributor
Leo Tolstoy Contributor
Joseph Conrad Contributor
Henry James Contributor
Homer Contributor
Aldous Huxley Contributor
Mark Twain Contributor
Gustave Flaubert Contributor
D. H. Lawrence Contributor
Victor Hugo Contributor
Marcel Proust Contributor
Bram Stoker Contributor
Jonathan Swift Contributor
Jack London Contributor
Henry Fielding Contributor
Arthur Conan Doyle Contributor
Theodore Dreiser Contributor
Stendhal Contributor
Andy Hopkins Adapted by
Jocelyn Potter Adapted by
Sue Saunders Adapter
R.T. Jones Introduction
Ludwig Feuerbach Contributor
Frederic Harrison Contributor
Tess O'Toole Introduction
J.W. Cross Editor
Justin Rainey Activities by
Maud Jackson Adapted by
Robert Hill Ativities by
Rosemary Ashton Introduction, Editor
Nadia May Narrator
Graham Handley Editor, Introduction
Beryl Gray Editor, Afterword
Robert Mathias Cover designer
Walter Ernest Allen Afterword, Introduction
George Levine Introduction
Megan McDaniel Introduction, Illustrator
R. M. Hewitt Introduction
Robin Jacques Illustrator
Terence Cave Editor, Introduction
Jordi Arbonès Translator
Adam & Eve Illustrator
Melanie Walz Herausgeber
Ned Halley Afterword
Kingsley Hart Introduction
Ronald Pickup Narrator
Alain Jumeau Translator
Kate Reading Narrator
W. L. Taylor Illustrator
Mason Cooley Introduction
Rick Ellis Cover Design
Elinor S. Shaffer Introduction
Monica Elias Illustrator
Elsie Tollet Translator
Michel Faber Introduction
Margaret Drabble Introduction
Penelope Fitzgerald Introduction
ג. אריוך Translator
Alex Struik Cover Design
Jessica Hische Illustrator
Francine Prose Introduction
Simon Brett Illustrator
Keith Carabine Series Editor
Gabriel Woolf Narrator
Ilse Leisi Translator
Juliet Aubrey Narrator
Thomas Creswick Cover artist
Max Wildi Nachwort
Margret Stevens Translator
Pierre Mornet Illustrator
Irmgard Nickel Translator
Mario Manzari Translator
Sylvère Monod Translator
Arthur A. Dixon Illustrator
Jennifer Egan Introduction
Frank Kermode Afterword
Håkan Tollet Translator
Wanda Fraiken Neff Introduction
Rainer Zerbst Translator
Arie Storm Afterword
Quentin Anderson Introduction
Gerald Bullett Introduction
David Russell Introduction
Rebecca Mead Foreword
Aune Tuomikoski Translator
Felicia Bonaparte Introduction
Carole Boyd Narrator
Jerome Beaty Afterword
Doreen Roberts Introduction
Kristian Wachinger Herausgeber
John Mullan Introduction
Nancy Henry Preface
Paul Montazzoli Introduction
David G. Pitt Introduction
Clarence Rowe Illustrator
Q. D. Leavis Introduction
Anna Bentinck Narrator
Andrew Sachs Narrator
F.E. Bevan Editor
Robert Herrick Introduction
J Bernard Davis Illustrator
Dinah Birch Introduction
Wray Manning Illustrator
John Constable Cover artist
Bel Mooney Introduction
David Daiches Introduction
Ian Stephens Illustrator
Louis Salomon Introduction
Alyson Macneill Illustrator
Margot Livesey Introduction
Jane Smiley Afterword
Curtis Dahl Foreword
Flo Gibson Narrator
Jozef Israëls Illustrator
W. D. Howe Editor
James Hill Cover artist
Carole Jones Introduction
Christian Bokelman Cover artist
Harry Brockway Illustrator
Henry King Illustrator (photos from film version)
Dorothea Barrett Introduction
Frederic Leighton Cover artist
John Ritchie Cover artist
Kathryn Hughes Introduction
Dinny Thorold Introduction
Josie Billington Contributor
H. R. Millar Illustrator
Hugh Thomson Illustrator
Jennifer Gribble Introduction
Charles Reid Illustrator
A.H. Buckland Illustrator
Grace Rhys Introduction
Annie Matheson Introduction
Bruce Pirie Narrator
Samuel Laurence Cover artist
Matthew Sweet Foreword
Esther Wood Contributor
Charles Lee Lewes Introduction
Rachel Lay Illustrator

Statistics

Works
494
Also by
57
Members
54,591
Popularity
#275
Rating
4.0
Reviews
858
ISBNs
2,445
Languages
27
Favorited
316

Charts & Graphs