Eliot, George

Eliot, George

biographical name


George Eliot, chalk drawing by F.W. Burton, 1865; in the National Portrait Gallery, London.—Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London

(born Nov. 22, 1819, Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, Eng.—died Dec. 22, 1880, London) British novelist. Eliot was raised with a strong evangelical piety but broke with religious orthodoxy in her 20s. She worked as a translator, a critic, and a subeditor of the Westminster Review (1851–54). Later she turned to fiction. Adopting a masculine pseudonym to evade prejudice against women novelists, she first brought out Scenes of Clerical Life (1858). This was followed by such classic works as Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862–63), Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), and Daniel Deronda (1876). Her masterpiece, Middlemarch (1871–72), provides a thorough study of every class of provincial society. The method of psychological analysis she developed would become characteristic of modern fiction. With the journalist, philosopher, and critic George Henry Lewes (1817–78), a married man, she enjoyed a long and happy, though scandalous, liaison; their Sunday-afternoon salons were a brilliant feature of Victorian life.

Variants of ELIOT, GEORGE

Eliot, George orig. Mary Ann Evans later Marian Evans

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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