Join us for a classic masterpiece, revolving around love, jealousy, obligation, the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy, political reform, education, and a deep psychological observation of human nature. Set in the fictitious town of Middlemarch, it has a huge cast of characters, including Dorothea Brooke, who is forced to deal with a disastrous marriage and the mean-spirited society around her. This is the seventh novel by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), and her most famous work.
About the Author
George Eliot was born Mary Ann Evans on November 22, 1819, in South Farm, Arbury Hall, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, the third child in the family. Because her father considered her intelligent, but not beautiful enough for marriage, he paid for a formal education at three different schools. Her father was the manager of an estate for a wealthy family with a large library, so she was allowed access to their large library, which contributed to her novels drawing heavily on Greek literature. In 1836, her Evans' mother died and she became a housekeeper. Moving in with her father near Coventry, she met Charles and Clara Bray, who entertained many guests with radical beliefs including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Upon her father's death in 1849, she decided to live in Geneva for a year, returning to England the following year as a writer named Marian Evans. She served as an editor on "The Westminster Review" from 1851 to 1854. She began living with George Henry Lewes in 1854, who was already married and had three children. His wife however, also had four additional children by another man. At this point, Marian began referring to Lewes as her husband. In 1856, she adopted the pseudonym George Eliot, thinking that a woman novelist could never be taken seriously. She published her first novel, "Adam Bede," in 1859 and it was an instant success, prompting her to continue writing works such as "The Mill on the Floss" and "Silas Marner" for the next fifteen years. Her true identity was finally revealed, surprising many of her readers, but not affecting her popularity. In 1877, she met the daughter of Queen Victoria, who was a huge fan. In 1878, her "husband" died and Marian began a relationship with John Walter Cross, whom she married in 1880. He was twenty years younger than she, causing another controversy. On their honeymoon, Cross fell from their hotel balcony into the canal in Venice, Italy. He did survive, but upon returning to England, Marian developed a throat infection and died on December 22, 1880, at the age of 61. She is buried in Highgate Cemetery in London.