George Eliot

  • Merryn Williams


Marian Evans published her work under the name of George Eliot because, even in the 1850s, there was still some hostility to women novelists.1 G. H. Lewes wrote, after the great success of Adam Bede, ‘It is quite clear that people would have sniffed at it if they had known the writer to be a woman but they can’t now unsay their admiration.’2 She lived to be acclaimed as the greatest woman of modern times. ‘The female Shakespeare’, ‘She thinks just like a man’,3 her admirers said. When she died she was called ‘a woman whose achievements were without parallel in the previous history of womankind’.4


Young Lady Evil Person Human Affection Great Woman Religious Teacher 
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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    Gordon S. Haight (ed.), The George Eliot Letters (Oxford, 1954–6), Vol. 3, p. 106.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Gordon S. Haight, George Eliot: A Biography (London, 1968), p. 468.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Quoted in David Carroll (ed.), George Eliot: The Critical Heritage (London, 1971), p. 504.Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    T. J. Wise and J. A. Symington (eds), The Brontes: Their Lives, Friendships and Correspondence (Oxford, 1932), Vol. 3, p. 74.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Merryn Williams 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merryn Williams

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