Classic Authors

Page 7 of 13

Eliot, George (1819-1880)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) was the daughter of an estate manager and his second wife, Christiana Pearson. She added a new dimension to the novel, developing and enlarging on the work done by earlier women novelists.  These female writers produced well-constructed, interesting plots, with excellent portrayals of character, and stories with convincing and varied backgrounds. 

George Eliot's work uses all these things to varying degrees, but she brought an intellectual approach to her tales.  She did not begin writing novels until she was nearly forty and she had time to observe her fellow human beings and to develop a firm philosophy of life.  Her own nature was serious and there is a purpose, even urgency, in all her work. Her best work is a blend of imaginative insight and sound reason.

Stowell, H.E. Quill, pens and petticoats: a portrait of women of letters. Wayland Publishers, 1970, pp. 145-146.

"There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.

George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (1860)

Library Resources
eReserve
AV Resources
Web Resources

Library Resources

On the shelves

Novels

Criticism and interpretation

Reference resources

The following title is on the non-fiction shelves and may be borrowed:

eBooks

Study notes

On the shelves

eReserve

  • Ashton, Rosemary, 'On bats and Bedes: solving two scholarly problems in the novels of George Eliot', Times Literary Supplement, no. 5959, June 16, 2017, pp. 14.
  • Spender, Dale and Janet Todd. eds. "George Eliot 1819-80". Anthology of British women writers from the Middle Ages to the present day. London: Pandora, 1990, pp. 517-535. Reproduced, with an introduction 'Silly novels by lady novelists' which was first published in October 1856, in The Westminster Review.
  • Stowell, H.E. "George Eliot", Quill pens and petticoats: a portrait of women of letters, London: Wayland Publishers, 1970, pp.145-158.
  • Teacher, Janet Bukovinsky. ed. "George Eliot (1819-1880)", Women of words: a personal introduction to thirty-five important writers' Philadelphia: Running Press, 1995. pp. 35-38. Includes an excerpt from The Mill on the Floss.

AV Resources

Web Resources

General

Correspondence

Criticism and interpretation

  • Cohen, Paula Marantz. Why read George Eliot? Her novels are just modern enough—and just old-fashioned enough, too. The American Scholar. March 1, 2006.
  • Ockerbloom, Mary. editor. George Eliot by Virginia Woolf. A Celebration of Women Writers. Penn University - Digital Library Project. This article by Virginia Woolf was first published in The Times Literary Supplement, 20th November 1919.

Middlemarch

  • Mead, Rebecca, Middlemarch and Me: what George Eliot teaches us, The New Yorker, 14 & 21 February 2011.

Mill on the Floss