The Female Thinker

  • Brian Spittles
Part of the Writers in their Time book series (WRTI)


Although Eliot is best known as a novelist she came to that literary form comparatively late in her career. Her first short story, The Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton, was published in Black-wood’s Magazine in 1857, by which time she was 37 years old. Two other stories followed: Mr Gilfil’s Love Story and Janet’s Repentance. In 1858 they were published in book form under the title Scenes of Clerical Life. It was a modest introduction to prose fiction for an author who was to become a seminal novelist. She had, though, already written a good deal in other fields.


Literary Form Woman Writer Sole Path Prose Fiction Poetic Voice 
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  1. 1.
    Sally Shuttleworth, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science ( Cambridge: University Press, 1984 ), p. 18.Google Scholar

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© Brian Spittles 1993

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  • Brian Spittles

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