"There is no private life which has not been determined by a wider public life." -- George Eliot
Mary Anne (Mary Ann, Marian) Evans (22 November 1819 — 22 December 1880), better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871—72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England and well known for their realism and psychological insight.
She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure her works were taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot's life, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women only writing lighthearted romances. An additional factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny and to prevent scandals attending her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes, with whom she lived for over 20 years.
"A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.""A toddling little girl is a centre of common feeling which makes the most dissimilar people understand each other.""A woman's heart must be of such a size and no larger, else it must be pressed small, like Chinese feet; her happiness is to be made as cakes are, by a fixed recipe.""Acting is nothing more or less than playing. The idea is to humanize life.""Adventure is not outside man; it is within.""All meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation.""All the learnin' my father paid for was a bit o' birch at one end and an alphabet at the other.""An ass may bray a good while before he shakes the stars down.""An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.""And when a woman's will is as strong as the man's who wants to govern her, half her strength must be concealment.""Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.""Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.""Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.""Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.""Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.""Breed is stronger than pasture.""But human experience is usually paradoxical, that means incongruous with the phrases of current talk or even current philosophy.""But that intimacy of mutual embarrassment, in which each feels that the other is feeling something, having once existed, its effect is not to be done away with.""But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.""Conscientious people are apt to see their duty in that which is the most painful course.""Consequences are unpitying.""Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.""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.""Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.""Different taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.""Every woman is supposed to have the same set of motives, or else to be a monster.""Excellence encourages one about life generally; it shows the spiritual wealth of the world.""Excessive literary production is a social offense.""Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.""Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult.""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.""Genius at first is little more than a great capacity for receiving discipline.""Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.""Harold, like the rest of us, had many impressions which saved him the trouble of distinct ideas.""He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.""Hobbies are apt to run away with us, you know; it doesn't do to be run away with. We must keep the reins.""Hostesses who entertain much must make up their parties as ministers make up their cabinets, on grounds other than personal liking.""I desire no future that will break the ties with the past.""I have the conviction that excessive literary production is a social offence.""I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved.""I like trying to get pregnant. I'm not so sure about childbirth.""I should like to know what is the proper function of women, if it is not to make reasons for husbands to stay at home, and still stronger reasons for bachelors to go out.""I'm not denyin' the women are foolish. God Almighty made 'em to match the men.""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.""If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.""Ignorant kindness may have the effect of cruelty; but to be angry with it as if it were direct cruelty would be an ignorant unkindness.""In all private quarrels the duller nature is triumphant by reason of dullness.""In every parting there is an image of death.""In spite of his practical ability, some of his experience had petrified into maxims and quotations.""In the vain laughter of folly wisdom hears half its applause.""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?""It always remains true that if we had been greater, circumstance would have been less strong against us.""It is a common enough case, that of a man being suddenly captivated by a woman nearly the opposite of his ideal.""It is easy to say how we love new friends, and what we think of them, but words can never trace out all the fibers that knit us to the old.""It is never too late to be what you might have been.""It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.""It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.""Iteration, like friction, is likely to generate heat instead of progress.""Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart.""Knowledge slowly builds up what Ignorance in an hour pulls down.""Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.""Little children are still the symbol of the eternal marriage between love and duty.""Marriage must be a relation either of sympathy or of conquest.""Might, could, would - they are contemptible auxiliaries.""More helpful than all wisdom is one draught of simple human pity that will not forsake us.""Mortals are easily tempted to pinch the life out of their neighbour's buzzing glory, and think that such killing is no murder.""No compliment can be eloquent, except as an expression of indifference.""No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.""No great deed is done by falterers who ask for certainty.""No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters.""Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.""One must be poor to know the luxury of giving!""Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love.""Opposition may become sweet to a man when he has christened it persecution.""Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.""Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.""Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.""Our words have wings, but fly not where we would.""People who can't be witty exert themselves to be devout and affectionate.""Perhaps the most delightful friendships are those in which there is much agreement, much disputation, and yet more personal liking.""Play not with paradoxes. That caustic which you handle in order to scorch others may happen to sear your own fingers and make them dead to the quality of things.""Quarrel? Nonsense; we have not quarreled. If one is not to get into a rage sometimes, what is the good of being friends?""Rome - the city of visible history, where the past of a whole hemisphere seems moving in funeral procession with strange ancestral images and trophies gathered from afar.""Science is properly more scrupulous than dogma. Dogma gives a charter to mistake, but the very breath of science is a contest with mistake, and must keep the conscience alive.""That's what a man wants in a wife, mostly; he wants to make sure one fool tells him he's wise.""The beginning of an acquaintance whether with persons or things is to get a definite outline of our ignorance.""The beginning of compunction is the beginning of a new life.""The best augury of a man's success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world.""The egoism which enters into our theories does not affect their sincerity; rather, the more our egoism is satisfied, the more robust is our belief.""The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words.""The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.""The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.""The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.""The intense happiness of our union is derived in a high degree from the perfect freedom with which we each follow and declare our own impressions.""The only failure one should fear, is not hugging to the purpose they see as best.""The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.""The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another.""The sons of Judah have to choose that God may again choose them. The divine principle of our race is action, choice, resolved memory.""The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.""The world is full of hopeful analogies and handsome, dubious eggs, called possibilities.""The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.""There are many victories worse than a defeat.""There are some cases in which the sense of injury breeds not the will to inflict injuries and climb over them as a ladder, but a hatred of all injury.""There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms.""There is a sort of jealousy which needs very little fire; it is hardly a passion, but a blight bred in the cloudy, damp despondency of uneasy egoism.""There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope.""There is only one failure in life possible, and that is not to be true to the best one knows.""To have in general but little feeling, seems to be the only security against feeling too much on any particular occasion.""Truth has rough flavours if we bite it through.""Vanity is as ill at ease under indifference as tenderness is under a love which it cannot return.""We hand folks over to God's mercy, and show none ourselves.""We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.""We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what might have been.""We must not sit still and look for miracles; up and doing, and the Lord will be with thee. Prayer and pains, through faith in Christ Jesus, will do anything.""Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.""What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?""What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined - to strengthen each other - to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.""What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?""What makes life dreary is the want of a motive.""When death comes it is never our tenderness that we repent from, but our severity.""When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.""When we get to wishing a great deal for ourselves, whatever we get soon turns into mere limitation and exclusion.""Whether happiness may come or not, one should try and prepare one's self to do without it.""Will not a tiny speck very close to our vision blot out the glory of the world, and leave only a margin by which we see the blot? I know no speck so troublesome as self.""Worldly faces never look so worldly as at a funeral. They have the same effect of grating incongruity as the sound of a coarse voice breaking the solemn silence of night.""You may try but you can never imagine what it is to have a man's form of genius in you, and to suffer the slavery of being a girl.""You should read history and look at ostracism, persecution, martyrdom, and that kind of thing. They always happen to the best men, you know."
Mary Anne Evans was the third child of Robert Evans (1773—1849) and Christiana Evans (née Pearson), the daughter of a local farmer, (1788—1836). When born, Mary Anne, sometimes shortened to Marian, had two teenage siblings, a half-brother, Robert (1802—64), and sister, Fanny (1805—82), from her father's previous marriage to Harriet Poynton (?1780—1809). Robert Evans was the manager of the Arbury Hall Estate for the Newdigate family in Warwickshire, and Mary Anne was born on the estate at South Farm. In early 1820 the family moved to a house named Griff, part way between Nuneaton and Coventry. Her full siblings were Christiana, known as Chrissey (1814—59), Isaac (1816—1890), and twin brothers who survived a few days in March 1821.
The young Evans was obviously intelligent and a voracious reader. Because of Evans' lack of physical beauty and thus slim chance of marriage, and because of her intelligence, her father invested in an education not often afforded females From ages five to nine, she boarded with her sister Chrissey at Miss Latham's school in Attleborough, from ages nine to thirteen at Mrs. Wallington's school in Nuneaton, and from ages thirteen to sixteen at Miss Franklin's school in Coventry. At Mrs. Wallington's school, she was taught by the evangelical Maria Lewis...to whom her earliest surviving letters are addressed. In the religious atmosphere of the Miss Franklin's school, Evans was exposed to a quiet, disciplined belief opposed to evangelicalism .
After age sixteen, Eliot had little formal education . Thanks to her father's important role on the estate, she was allowed access to the library of Arbury Hall, which greatly aided her self-education and breadth of learning. Her classical education left its mark; Christopher Stray has observed that "George Eliot's novels draw heavily on Greek literature (only one of her books can be printed correctly without the use of a Greek typeface), and her themes are often influenced by Greek tragedy". Her frequent visits to the estate also allowed her to contrast the wealth in which the local landowner lived with the lives of the often much poorer people on the estate, and different lives lived in parallel would reappear in many of her works. The other important early influence in her life was religion. She was brought up within a narrow low church Anglican family, but at that time the Midlands was an area with a growing number of religious dissenters.
Move to Coventry
In 1836 her mother died and Evans returned home to act as housekeeper, but she continued correspondence with her tutor Maria Lewis. When she was 21, her brother Isaac married and took over the family home, so Evans and her father moved to Foleshill near Coventry. The closeness to Coventry society brought new influences, most notably those of Charles and Cara Bray. Charles Bray had become rich as a ribbon manufacturer and had used his wealth in building schools and other philanthropic causes. Evans, who had been struggling with religious doubts for some time, became intimate friends with the progressive, free-thinking Brays, whose home was a haven for people who held and debated radical views. The people whom the young woman met at the Brays' house included Robert Owen, Herbert Spencer, Harriet Martineau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Through this society, Evans was introduced to more liberal theologies, and writers such as David Strauss and Ludwig Feuerbach, who cast doubt on the literal veracity of Biblical stories. In fact, her first major literary work was translating into English Strauss' Life of Jesus (1846), which she completed after it had been begun by another member of the Rosehill circle.A road in Coventry, George Eliot Road was named after her in Foleshill.
When Evans lost her religious faith, her father threatened to throw her out, although that did not happen. Instead, she respectably attended church for years and continued to keep house for him until his death in 1849. Five days after her father's funeral, she travelled to Switzerland with the Brays. She decided to stay in Geneva alone, living first on the lake at Plongeon (near the present United Nations buildings) and then at the Rue de Chanoines (now the Rue de la Pelisserie) with François and Juliet d’Albert Durade on the second floor ("one feels in a downy nest high up in a good old tree") (her stay is recorded by a plaque on the building). She read avidly and took long walks amongst a natural environment that inspired her greatly. François painted a portrait of her.
Move to London and editorship of the Westminster Review
On her return to England in 1850, she moved to London with the intent of becoming a writer and calling herself Marian Evans. She stayed at the house of John Chapman, the radical publisher whom she had met at Rosehill and who had printed her translation. Chapman had recently bought the campaigning, left-wing journal The Westminster Review, and Evans became its assistant editor in 1851. Although Chapman was the named editor, it was Evans who did much of the work in running the journal, contributing many essays and reviews, from the January, 1852 number until the dissolution of her arrangement with Chapman in the first half of 1854. Ashton, Rosemary. George Eliot: A Life. London: Penguin, 1997. 88ff., 110.
Women writers were not uncommon at the time, but Evans's role at the head of a literary enterprise was. The mere sight of an unmarried young woman mixing with the predominantly male society of London at that time was unusual, even scandalous to some. Although clearly strong-minded, she was frequently sensitive, depressed, and crippled by self-doubt. She was considered to have an ill-favoured appearance, and she formed a number of embarrassing, unreciprocated emotional attachments, including that to her employer, the married Chapman, and Herbert Spencer.
Relationship with George Lewes
The philosopher and critic George Henry Lewes met Evans in 1851, and by 1854 they had decided to live together. Lewes was married to Agnes Jervis, but they had agreed to have an open marriage, and in addition to the three children they had together, Agnes had also had several children by other men. Since Lewes was named on the birth certificate as the father of one of these children despite knowing this to be false, and was therefore considered complicit in adultery, he was not able to divorce Agnes. In July 1854 Lewes and Evans travelled to Weimar and Berlin together for the purpose of research. Before going to Germany, Evans continued her interest in theological work with a translation of Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity and while abroad she wrote essays and worked on her translation of Baruch Spinoza's Ethics, which she completed in 1856, but which was not published in her life-time.
The trip to Germany also served as a honeymoon as Evans and Lewes now considered themselves married, with Evans calling herself Marian Evans Lewes, and referring to Lewes as her husband. It was not unusual for men and women in Victorian society to have affairs; Charles Bray, John Chapman, Charles Dickens, Friedrich Engels and Wilkie Collins all had affairs, though more discreetly than Lewes and Evans. What was scandalous was the Leweses' open admission of the relationship. On their return to England, they lived apart from the literary society of London, both shunning and being shunned in equal measure.
While continuing to contribute pieces to the Westminster Review, Evans had resolved to become a novelist, and she set out a manifesto for herself in one of her last essays for the Review, Silly Novels by Lady Novelists (1856). The essay criticised the trivial and ridiculous plots of contemporary fiction by women. In other essays she praised the realism of novels written in Europe at the time, and an emphasis placed on realistic storytelling would become clear throughout her subsequent fiction. She also adopted a new nom-de-plume, the one for which she would become best known: George Eliot. This masculine name was chosen partly in order to distance herself from the lady writers of silly novels, but it also quietly hid the tricky subject of her marital status.
In 1858 Amos Barton, the first of the Scenes of Clerical Life, was published in Blackwood's Magazine and, along with the other Scenes, was well received. Her first complete novel, published in 1859, was Adam Bede and was an instant success, but it prompted an intense interest in who this new author might be. Scenes of Clerical Life was widely believed to have been written by a country parson or perhaps the wife of a parson. With the release of the incredibly popular Adam Bede, speculation increased markedly, and there was even a pretender to the authorship, one Joseph Liggins. In the end, the real George Eliot stepped forward: Marian Evans Lewes admitted she was the author. The revelations about Eliot's private life surprised and shocked many of her admiring readers, but this apparently did not affect her popularity as a novelist. Eliot's relationship with Lewes afforded her the encouragement and stability she so badly needed to write fiction, and to ease her self-doubt, but it would be some time before they were accepted into polite society. Acceptance was finally confirmed in 1877, when they were introduced to Princess Louise, the daughter of Queen Victoria, who was an avid reader of George Eliot's novels.
After the popularity of Adam Bede, she continued to write popular novels for the next fifteen years. Within a year of completing Adam Bede, she finished The Mill on the Floss, inscribing the manuscript: "To my beloved husband, George Henry Lewes, I give this MS. of my third book, written in the sixth year of our life together, at Holly Lodge, South Field, Wandsworth, and finished 21 March 1860."
Her last novel was Daniel Deronda, published in 1876, whereafter she and Lewes moved to Witley, Surrey; but by this time Lewes's health was failing and he died two years later on 30 November 1878. Eliot spent the next two years editing Lewes's final work Life and Mind for publication, and she found solace with John Walter Cross, an American banker whose mother had recently died.
Marriage to John Cross and death
On 16 May 1880 George Eliot courted controversy once more by marrying a man twenty years younger than herself, and again changing her name, this time to Mary Anne Cross. The legal marriage at least pleased her brother Isaac, who sent his congratulations after breaking off relations with his sister when she had begun to live with Lewes. John Cross was a rather unstable character, and apparently jumped or fell from their hotel balcony into the Grand Canal in Venice during their honeymoon. Cross survived and they returned to England. The couple moved to a new house in Chelsea but Eliot fell ill with a throat infection. This, coupled with the kidney disease she had been afflicted with for the past few years, led to her death on 22 December 1880 at the age of 61.
Eliot was not buried in Westminster Abbey because of her denial of the Christian faith and her "irregular" though monogamous life with Lewes. She was interred in Highgate Cemetery (East), Highgate, London in the area reserved for religious dissenters, next to George Henry Lewes. In 1980, on the centenary of her death, a memorial stone was established for her in the Poets’ Corner.
Several key buildings in her birthplace of Nuneaton are named after her or titles of her novels. For example George Eliot Hospital, George Eliot Community School and Middlemarch Junior School.
Throughout her career, Eliot wrote with a politically astute pen. From Adam Bede to The Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner, Eliot presented the cases of social outsiders and small-town persecution. Felix Holt, the Radical and The Legend of Jubal were overtly political, and political crisis is at the heart of Middlemarch, in which she presents the stories of a number of denizens of a small English town on the eve of the Reform Bill of 1832; the novel is notable for its deep psychological insight and sophisticated character portraits.
Readers in the Victorian era particularly praised her books for their depictions of rural society, for which she drew on her own early experiences, and she shared with Wordsworth the belief that there was much interest and importance in the mundane details of ordinary country lives. Eliot did not, however, confine herself to her bucolic roots. Romola, an historical novel set in late 15th century Florence and touching on the lives of several real persons such as the priest Girolamo Savonarola, displays her wider reading and interests. In The Spanish Gypsy, Eliot made a foray into verse, creating a work whose initial popularity has not endured.
The religious elements in her fiction also owe much to her upbringing, with the experiences of Maggie Tulliver from The Mill on the Floss sharing many similarities with the young Mary Anne Evans's own development. When Silas Marner is persuaded that his alienation from the church means also his alienation from society, the author's life is again mirrored with her refusal to attend church. She was at her most autobiographical in Looking Backwards, part of her final printed work Impressions of Theophrastus Such. By the time of Daniel Deronda, Eliot's sales were falling off, and she faded from public view to some degree. This was not helped by the biography written by her husband after her death, which portrayed a wonderful, almost saintly, woman totally at odds with the scandalous life people knew she had led. In the 20th century she was championed by a new breed of critics, most notably by Virginia Woolf, who called Middlemarch "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people". The various film and television adaptations of Eliot's books have re-introduced her to the wider-reading public.
Adam Bede, 1859
The Mill on the Floss, 1860
Silas Marner, 1861
Felix Holt, the Radical, 1866
Daniel Deronda, 1876
The Spanish Gypsy (a dramatic poem), 1868
The Legend of Jubal, 1874
A Minor Prophet, 1874
A College Breakfast Party, 1879
The Death of Moses, 1879
From a London Drawing Room
Count That Day Lost
I Grant You Ample Leave
Translation of "The Life of Jesus Critically Examined" Volume 2 by David Strauss, 1846
Translation of "The Essence of Christianity" by Ludwig Feuerbach, 1854
Haight, Gordon S., George Eliot: A Biography, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1968, ISBN 0-19-811666-7.
Haight, Gordon S., ed., George Eliot: Letters, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1954, ISBN 0-300-01088-5.
Uglow, Jennifer, George Eliot, London, Virago, 1987, ISBN 0-394-75359-3.
Jenkins, Lucien, Collected Poems of George Eliot, London, Skoob Books Publishing, 1989, ISBN 1-871438-35-7
Context and background
Beer, Gillian, Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983, ISBN 0-521-78392-5.
Beer, Gillian, George Eliot, Prentice Hall / Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1986, ISBN 0-7108-0511-X.
Chapman, Raymond, The Sense of the Past in Victorian Literature, London, CroomHelm, 1986, ISBN 0-7099-3441-6.
Cosslett, Tess, The 'Scientific Movement' and Victorian Literature, Brighton, Harvester, 1982, ISBN 0-312-70298-1.
Gilbert, Sandra M., and Gubar, Susan, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1979, ISBN 0-300-08458-7.
Hughes, Kathryn, George Eliot: The Last Victorian, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998, ISBN 0-374-16138-0.
Edel, Leon (ed.) Henry James: Selected Letters, Belknap Press (1990) ISBN 0674387945
Pinney, Thomas, ed., Essays of George Eliot, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1963, ISBN 0-231-02619-6.
Rignall, John, ed., 'Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot', Oxford University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-19-860099-2
Rignall, John, ed., 'George Eliot and Europe', Scolar Press, 1997, ISBN 1-85928-334-9
Shuttleworth, Sally, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science: The Make-Believe of a Beginning, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-521-25786-7.
Uglow, Jenny, George Eliot, London, Virago Press, 1988, ISBN 0 86068 400 8.
Willey, Basil, Nineteenth-Century Studies: Coleridge to Matthew Arnold, London, Chatto & Windus, 1964, ISBN 0-14-021709-6.
Williams, Raymond, The Country and the City, London, Chatto & Windus, 1973, ISBN 0-19-519810-7.
Alley, Henry, "The Quest for Anonymity: The Novels of George Eliot", University of Delaware Press, 1997.
Ashton, Rosemary, George Eliot, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1983.
Beaty, Jerome, Middlemarch from Notebook to Novel: A Study of George Eliot's Creative Method, Champaign, Illinois, University of Illinois, 1960.
Carroll, David, ed., George Eliot: The Critical Heritage, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971.
Daiches, David, George Eliot: Middlemarch, London, Edward Arnold, 1963.
Dentith, Simon, George Eliot, Brighton, Harvester, 1986.
Garrett, Peter K., The Victorian Multiplot Novel: Studies in Dialogical Form, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1980.
Graver, Suzanne, George Eliot and Community: A Study in Social Theory and Fictional Form, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1984.
Harvey, W. J, The Art of George Eliot, London, Chatto & Windus, 1961.
Kettle, Arnold. An Introduction to the English Novel, vol. I, London, Hutchinson, 1951.
Leavis, F R The Great Tradition, London, Chatto & Windus, 1948.