Evans, Mary Anne (1819–1880)

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Evans, Mary Anne (1819–1880)

Major English writer of the 19th century who, under the pseudonym George Eliot, wrote seven novels, including Silas Marner, Middlemarch, Adam Bede, and The Mill on the Floss. Name variations: Mary Ann Evans; Marian Evans; Marian Evans Lewes; Mary Ann Cross; Mrs. John W. Cross; (nicknames) Polly, Pollian; (pseudonym) George Eliot. Pronunciation: Lewes pronounced Lewis. Born Mary Anne Evans on November 22, 1819, in Warwickshire, England; died on December 22, 1880, in London; daughter of Robert Evans (a carpenter turned estate agent) and Christiana (Pearson) Evans; attended village dame school, then boarding schools in Attleborough, Nuneaton, and Coventry; lived as the wife of George Henry Lewes from 1854 until his death on November 30, 1878; married John Walter Cross, on May 6, 1880; no children.

Born on the Arbury estate in Warwickshire; grew up at Chilvers Coton, near Nuneaton; under the influence of evangelical teachers, had a conversion experience at about age 15; left school (1835) during mother's terminal illness; kept house for her father after mother's death (1836); though religion dominated her life until age 22, moved with her father to Coventry and rejected orthodox religion; translated Strauss' Das Leben Jesu, published (1846); wrote for the Coventry Herald and cared for her father until his death (1849); went abroad with friends (1849); returned to England (1850); settled in London (1851) where she wrote for and served as de facto managing editor of the Westminster Review; established friendships with Herbert Spencer and George Henry Lewes; intimacy with Lewes began (1853); translated Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity, published (1854); left England with Lewes for Germany (1854); lived with him as Marian Lewes after their return (1855); liaison caused break with family and scandal to conventional society; wrote her first fiction and assumed George Eliot as pseudonym (1857); subsequently wrote seven novels, a verse drama, a collection of poetry, and a collection of essays; honored as major novelist and sage in later

years; visited by distinguished figures from England, America, and Europe.

Selected publications:

Scenes of Clerical Life (1858); Adam Bede (1859); The Mill on the Floss (1860); Silas Marner (1861); Romola (1863); Felix Holt, the Radical (1866); Middlemarch (1871–72); Daniel Deronda (1876).

In her last novel, Daniel Deronda, George Eliot wrote: "A human life should be well rooted in some spot of a native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of the earth, for the labours men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it,… a spot where the definiteness of early memories may be inwrought with affection." Mary Anne Evans' deep emotional life was rooted in the heart of England, in the rich farm fields, golden meadowlands, and flowering hedgerows of the Midlands. The writer George Eliot's destiny, however, lay in the intellectual and artistic milieu of London, where she could escape the constraints imposed on her sex by provincial mores and fulfill her ambition to share in and contribute to the life of the mind. This tension between the sensuous, affectionate woman and the rigorously self-disciplined thinker and writer was further complicated by a religious temperament that led her, after great emotional and intellectual turmoil, to reject orthodox religion in young adulthood, but never allowed her to escape the moral earnestness of her early evangelical views.

Her need for love and affection is manifested in the many complicated personal relationships with men and women that marked her life from her childhood until her death at 61. This emotional dimension of her personality, with its strong links to the people, scenes, and events of her childhood, accounts for those aspects of her art which have proved the most universally admired and enduring: her ability to portray sympathetically, through her aesthetic of realism, commonplace characters whose psychological needs conflict with social conditions and conventions and with both external and internal moral imperatives.

Mary Anne Evans was born on November 22, 1819, at South Farm on the 7,000-acre Ar-bury estate in Warwickshire, which her father Robert Evans managed for the Newdigate family. Her mother Christiana Pearson Evans came from a family of well-established and prosperous yeoman farmers. Christiana was Robert Evans' second wife, his first having died in 1809 after the birth of a third child. Mary Anne Evans, her name as it appears on her baptismal record, grew up with her stepbrother Robert (b. 1802), her stepsister Fanny Evans (b. 1805), her sister Chrissey Evans (b. 1814), and her brother Issac Evans (b. 1816). The family lived at Griff House, a comfortable Georgian-style farmhouse on the edge of the Arbury estate, near Nuneaton on the Coventry Road, where she and her brother Issac, on whom she lavished her first intense love, were inseparable playmates. Never very close to her mother, Mary Anne glowed in the light of her father's attention as the baby of the family, delighting in standing in the wagon between his knees when he drove about the great estate as his business took him to fields and woods, to cottages and stables, to Astley Castle and Arbury Hall.

She and Issac attended a dame's school across the road from their house until 1824, when she was five; then Issac was sent to school near Coventry and she joined Chrissey at Miss Latham's, three miles from home. Evans was never able to reestablish the intimate bond with Issac broken by their separation, but the theme of childhood love between sister and brother persists in her writing, most markedly in The Mill on the Floss and the "Brother and Sister" sonnets of the late 1860s. In 1828, she was sent to Mrs. Wallington's Boarding School in Nuneaton, where the benevolent evangelical earnestness and special attention of the principal governess, Maria Lewis , was to have an important effect on the unprepossessing, self-conscious, introspective child. Under Lewis' influence, Mary Anne gained a thorough knowledge of the Bible and a reputation for seriousness and piety.

By the time she was 13, Evans had mastered the school's curriculum, and her father was advised to send her to the Miss Franklins' School in Coventry, where she excelled in English composition, French, and music. Although the religious tone at the school was Calvinistic, the Franklins were liberal in encouraging their students to read extensively, and Evans became familiar with the works of contemporary writers such as Scott and Byron as well as the classic works of Shakespeare, Milton, and Pope. Here, at about 15, she had a conversion experience that intensified the comparatively gentle evangelical bent she had developed under the influence of Miss Lewis to a gloomy and ascetic Calvinism. Until Evans was 22, this experience dominated her life, and she lived with a conviction that human sinfulness could be redeemed only by the atonement of Christ. She practiced renunciation and humility in an attempt to repress her desire for recognition, approval, and love.

In 1835, Mary Anne returned home to help her sister keep house for her father and brother when it became clear that her mother was dying of cancer. Christiana Evans died after great suffering in 1836, and in 1837, Chrissey married and left home. At this time, Mary Anne's religious zeal was at its most intense. Devoting her life to duty and self-sacrifice, she tended to her father's needs, visited the poor and sick in the neighborhood, and showed her disapproval of her brother's lack of religious enthusiasm. Her father engaged a tutor from Coventry to teach her Italian and German and soon she was studying Latin on her own. She became immersed in readings on religious history and theology.

In 1841, Robert Evans retired and Issac married and took over his father's estate management and the house at Griff. Mary Ann (as she began to write her name in 1837) and her father moved to Foleshill, Coventry, where she continued her private study and reading. For some time, she had been reading books on geology and astronomy that attempted to reconcile the claims of science with those of religious revelation. Gradually, these readings, as well as Charles Hennell's An Inquiry concerning the Origins of Christianity, Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus, and works of the Romantic poets, especially William Wordsworth—her favorite poet and a major influence on her novels—loosened the hold of evangelicalism on her mind and emotions.

In addition to her wide-ranging reading, at Coventry Evans made the acquaintance of Caroline Bray (1814–1905), known as Cara, and her husband Charles. Both were free-thinking intellectuals under whose influence Evans' rejection of orthodox Christianity crystallized. Having lost the empathy of her brother Issac as a result of her dour religious views, she fractured her relationship with her father by refusing to attend church with him in January of 1842, explaining to him in a letter (because he would not speak to her about her religious doubts) that she "could not without vile hypocrisy and a miserable truckling to the smile of the world for the sake of my supposed interests, profess to join in worship which I wholly disapprove. This and this alone I will not do even for your sake—anything else however painful I would cheerfully brave to give you a moment's joy."

Her action precipitated a family crisis: her father, feeling his authority and respectability challenged by her disobedience and rebellion, threatened to have nothing more to do with her, put the house up for lease, and arranged to move alone to his cottage at Packington. Issac, Fanny, and Chrissey tried to mediate the conflict, but father and daughter were well matched in stubbornness. Mary Anne was sent to Issac's at Griff to wait until the situation cooled down. Eventually a truce was reached: Evans would accompany her father to church, but she could think what she liked during the service. She moved back to Foleshill at the end of April. Robert Evans was satisfied that appearances were kept up, and Mary Anne felt she had asserted her intellectual independence.

Friendship with the Brays widened Evans' world. Through them, she met Cara's sister, Sara Hennell (1812–1899), and her brother, Charles Hennell, the author of An Inquiry concerning the Origins of Christianity. She also took several trips with her new friends, visiting London, Manchester, Windemere, Wales, and Scotland. As a result of the connections to the intellectual world made through her new acquaintances, she was asked to translate Strauss' Das Leben Jesu. For two years, she worked on a translation of the book that would have a profound influence on religious thought in 19th-century England. In 1846, The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined by David Friedrich Strauss was published by Chapman Brothers in three volumes. Mary Anne Evans' name did not appear in the volumes; she was paid £20 for her labor.

My artistic bent is directed not at all to the presentation of eminently irreproachable characters, but to the presentation of mixed human beings in such a way as to call forth tolerant judgment, pity, and sympathy.

—Mary Anne Evans

In 1846 and 1847, Evans wrote pieces for the Coventry Herald while her father's declining health demanded more and more of her time and attention. She nursed him through his final illness and was at a loss when he died in May of 1849. On the night before his death, she wrote, "What shall I be without my Father? It will seem as if a part of my moral nature were gone." Five days after the funeral, she set off with the Brays on a continental tour. When the Brays returned to England after a month, Mary Anne remained alone in Geneva to ponder her future. She would soon be 30, a woman with a reputation for strong-minded unconventionality and with little prospect of marriage. The income from her inheritance would allow her a bare independent living, with no money for books, lessons, or travel. She dreaded the prospect of living as a dependent with her brother, or of surrendering her freedom and leisure to earn a paltry living as a teacher or governess. She wondered if it were possible for her to earn a living as a writer.

Upon returning to England in 1850, she stayed with the Brays. John Chapman, who had published her translation of Strauss, visited Coventry and asked her to write a review of R.W. Mackay's The Progress of the Intellect for the Westminster Review. She delivered the article personally to Chapman in London and stayed for two weeks at his large house in the Strand, where he had his publishing and bookselling offices and where his wife lodged literary people visiting London. Encouraged by the success of her article, Evans decided that if she lived in London, she could make a living by writing. She took lodgings in Chapman's house in January of 1851.

She had hardly settled in London, where she met some of the city's leading intellectual lights at Chapman's soirees, when the peculiar living arrangements and relationships at the Chapmans' created problems. In a short time, both Chapman's wife and his mistress, who lived in the household as the Chapmans' children's governess, made no secret of their jealousy of his attentions to the new boarder and their disapproval of her lack of discretion in allowing him to spend hours in her room listening to her play Mozart and being tutored in German. Although she enjoyed such attention, it was clear that she could not in her present circumstances sustain both her aspirations to establish herself as a professional writer and a flirtation with Chapman. When Chapman told her that although he had a great affection for her, he loved his wife and mistress too, Marian Evans, as she now spelled her name, returned to Coventry.

Soon after her departure, Chapman bought the Westminster Review. He needed an editor who could return the magazine to the high standard set by its founder, John Stuart Mill. Recognizing that Evans could fulfill this role admirably, he went to Coventry to discuss his plans for the magazine with her. She agreed to an arrangement in which he would be the nominal editor and she would write for the magazine and serve as his anonymous assistant. He persuaded his wife and mistress to allow her to return to the house on this professional footing. It is generally agreed that the great success of the Westminster Review during the next two years can be attributed to Evans, who earned fees for the anonymous articles she wrote but was unpaid and largely unrecognized for her brilliant editorial work on ten numbers of the journal.

She enjoyed the challenge of her new career, however, and the interesting people she met in London. She established lasting friendships with Bessie Parkes , later editor of the English Women's Journal, which advocated education and employment for women, and with Barbara Leigh Smith (later Barbara Bodichon ), activist and organizer of many feminist causes, including the suffrage movement and the founding of Girton College for women at Cambridge in 1869. As her infatuation with Chapman cooled, Evans made other friends, among them Herbert Spencer, who worked across the street from Chapman's as an editor of The Economist. In 1851, he often escorted her to plays and operas, and it was rumored that they were engaged. Evans apparently offered more than the intellectual friendship that for Spencer defined their relationship, and once more found her love rejected because, as Spencer later wrote in his Autobiography, "the lack of physical attraction was fatal" to a more intimate relationship.

In 1852, Evans began to see George Henry Lewes, dramatist, novelist, and journalist, a writer for the Westminster Review since 1840, as well as writer and editor for the Leader, a radical weekly that he and Thornton Hunt had founded in 1850. Lewes was a quick and amiable conversationalist and an animated storyteller with interests in philosophy, literature, and science. He was married and the father of three sons when Evans met him. His wife Agnes had had a child with Hunt in 1850, but Lewes had overlooked her infidelity and given the child his name. When in 1852 she gave birth to the second of four children she was to have with Hunt, however, Lewes ceased to regard her as his wife. A divorce was out of the question because Lewes had previously condoned her adultery. Lewes supported Agnes and her children for the rest of his life.

Evans at first disliked Lewes because of what she regarded as his lack of seriousness, but in her loneliness after her relationship with Spencer had failed, she grew to value Lewes' companionship. In 1853, she moved from Chapman's house to lodgings near Hyde Park, where she could receive visitors privately, and where, according to her biographer Gordon Haight, her sexual relationship with Lewes began. Her chief project at this time was a translation of Feuerbach's The Origins of Christianity, published in 1854, the only published work on which the name Marian Evans appears. In summer of 1854, she left for Germany with Lewes, commencing a union that would bring her great personal happiness and nurture her creative life for 24 years.

In Germany, Lewes worked on a biography of Goethe and wrote articles for the Leader while Evans wrote for the Westminster Review and began a translation of Spinoza's Ethics. On their return to England in 1855, Evans stayed in Dover while Lewes settled his separation from Agnes. Gossip that reached London from abroad had already stigmatized Evans, and when she took up residence openly with Lewes, she did so knowing full well that she had put herself beyond the pale of respectable society. She requested that the few friends who did write or visit her call her Marian Lewes.

In 1856, at Lewes' suggestion that she try her hand at fiction, Evans began to write "The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton," which would usher in her career as a novelist. The story was published in Blackwood's Magazine in January of 1857, where Lewes had sent it as the work of a friend who wished to remain anonymous. When pressed by the publishers, Evans offered "George Eliot" as the name under which the author wished to be known. She retained the pseudonym throughout her career. This first story was soon followed in Blackwood's by "Mr. Gilfil's Love Story" and "Janet's Repentance."

When the stories were reprinted in 1858 as Scenes of Clerical Life, they were enthusiastically reviewed and widely read. Readers from Warwickshire recognized characters and events from their own past, and there was much speculation and controversy about the identity of the author so well acquainted with the history of the region. In the midst of the stir, Evans, fearing that her authorship would be discovered, wrote her family to inform them that she had "changed [her] name, and [had] someone to take care of [her] in this world." When Issac learned that her relationship with Lewes was not a legal marriage, although, as Evans wrote, it was "regarded by us both as a sacred bond," he broke off communication with her and forbade Fanny and Chrissey to communicate with the infidel who had brought disgrace upon the family.

Alienated from her family and the scenes of her early life, Evans returned to them in her memory and transformed them through her imagination in her greatest fiction. Her first novel, Adam Bede, purported to be set in Derbyshire and Staffordshire rather than in her native Warwickshire, but the character of Adam Bede is based on her father's early life, and the incident of the Methodist woman preacher visiting the young woman in prison accused of child murder was based on a personal reminiscence Evans had heard from her Methodist aunt, Mrs. Samuel Evans . Published in installments in Blackwood's, then as a three-volume novel in February of 1859, Adam Bede was a sensational success, both with critics and the reading public. The Times review is typical: "It's a first rate novel, and its author takes rank at once among the masters of the art." By October, 14,000 copies had been sold. Queen Victoria so much enjoyed Adam Bede that she commissioned watercolors based on scenes from the novel.

Parkes, Bessie Rayner (1829–1925)

English feminist, poet, and essayist. Name variations: Bessie Belloc. Born in 1829; died in 1925; daughter of Joseph Parkes (a Birmingham solicitor) and Elizabeth (Priestley) Parkes (daughter of Unitarian scientist Joseph Priestley); married Louis Belloc (Irish-French writer), in 1867 (died 1872); children: Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953); Marie Belloc-Lowndes (1868–1947).

Bessie Rayner Parkes grew up surrounded by a circle of reforming activists, including Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, who were friends of her father Joseph Parkes. In 1946, she met feminist Barbara Bodichon ; since both were intent on reforming women's education, they became lifelong friends and established the English Woman's Journal (1858). Edited by Parkes, the journal served as a magnet to a circle of women known as the Langham Place Group.

In the 1860s, Parkes converted to Roman Catholicism, influenced by the Irish Sisters of Mercy and the death of her friend Adelaide Procter . She then met Louis Belloc and their five-year marriage produced two more writers, her son Hilaire Belloc and her daughter Marie Belloc-Lowndes . Louis Belloc's sudden death left Parkes distraught and destitute, and she moved with her children to Slindon, Sussex. In time, her daughter distanced herself from the women's movement while her son was rabidly anti-feminist. Bessie Parkes' writings include Remarks Upon the Education of Girls (1854), Essays on Women's Work (1865), and In a Walled Garden (1895).

suggested reading:

Belloc-Lowndes, Marie. I Too Have Lived in Arcadia.

The Mill on the Floss, published in 1860, imaginatively revisited Evans' childhood in the sister-brother relationship of Maggie and Tom Tulliver as it traced the tragic consequences of Maggie's need to love and be loved. By the time this most autobiographical of her novels was published, Issac Evans, who had recognized in Adam Bede "things… about my father," was no longer deceived by his sister's pseudonym and was annoyed by the novel's caricatures of his Pearson aunts as the "emmet-like Dodsons." In fact, Evans had seen the futility of trying to preserve the incognito since June of 1859, when Lewes wrote to Barbara Bodichon that "we have come to the resolution of no longer concealing the authorship. It makes me angry to think that people should say that the secret was kept because there was any fear of the effect of the author's name…. The object of anonymity was to get the book judged on its own merits, and not prejudged as the work of a woman, or of a particular woman." After the success of The Mill on the Floss, it was difficult for people to withdraw praise when it became widely known that the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed books was George Lewes' mistress. As her fame grew, so did her fortune. Through Lewes' shrewd management as her literary agent, Evans commanded the highest fees of any living novelist, and her only rival in popularity was Charles Dickens.

While on a trip to Italy in 1860, Lewes suggested that Evans try a historical novel based on the life of Savonarola, the 15th-century Florentine hero. She immersed herself in reading and research for this ambitious project, her first attempt at fiction not grounded in her own memory and experiences. The work proved difficult, and at several points she felt blocked and lost confidence in her ability to write a novel so remote from her own experience in time and place. She set aside her work on this project to write Silas Marner, published in 1861, a novel set among the familiar English pastoral scenes of humble life at the beginning of the century and based on a "recollection of having once, in early childhood, seen a linen weaver with a bag on his back." Once again, this novel won accolades for the author.

With her confidence restored by the success of Silas Marner, Evans returned to work on her historical novel, Romola. Smith and Elder, the publishing company that had recently introduced the Cornhill Magazine, offered to pay an unprecedented £10,000 for George Eliot's new work, to be published in 16 installments. Because she felt that Romola was not suited to publication in short segments, she agreed to fewer but longer installments for £7,000. Unfortunately, Romola did not bolster the circulation of the Cornhill or sell as well as expected when it was issued in three volumes in 1863.

Eager to demonstrate her versatility as a writer, Evans began a verse drama, The Spanish Gypsy, with Lewes' encouragement. Again, she had difficulty with unfamiliar subject matter and an unfamiliar form. She interrupted work on her poem to write Felix Holt, the Radical, a novel based on her memories of the hardships of the unemployed weavers and miners of Coventry and the election riots that took place in Nuneaton after the passage of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. The novel's publication was especially timely in 1866 during the debate that preceded the passage of the Second Reform Bill of 1867; it was well received critically although sales lagged somewhat behind expectations. After a trip to Spain in 1867, Evans completed The Spanish Gypsy, published in 1868.

Evans' earnings had made the Leweses wealthy enough to take a 49-year lease on the Priory, the stately London home where she was to live from 1863 until the last year of her life. With George Eliot's literary fame at its peak in the 60s, Lewes cautiously set about the rehabilitation of Marian Evans Lewes' social reputation. During years of ostracism, Evans had maintained social ties with only a few close friends. To avoid the pain of rejection, she neither expected nor extended invitations. After the move to the Priory, however, the Leweses let it be known that though they never visited, they received visitors on Sunday afternoons. Lewes began by issuing invitations to friends in scientific and literary circles. In time, the Priory became a salon where the intellectual elite of England gathered to pay tribute to the person and accomplishments of George Eliot.

With the stunning success of Middlemarch, generally acknowledged as her masterpiece, in 1871–72 Evans' fame reached its zenith. She was dubbed "the Madonna" by Lewes, and Dickens captured the tone of idolatry that developed as the Sunday afternoons attracted ardent admirers in his remark that "On Sunday I hope to attend service at the Priory." In 1872, Lewes wrote, "Lords and Ladies, poets and cabinet ministers, artists and men of science crowd upon us" to meet the celebrated writer described by one visitor as "a plain woman who talked of Homer as simply as she would of flat-irons." By 1876, when Daniel Deronda appeared, polite society had apparently either forgotten or overlooked the irregularity of Evans' marital situation: after all, in addition to being known as the greatest living English novelist, she had been received by three of Queen Victoria's daughters.

The novels that mark the final phase of George Eliot's career as a novelist, Middlemarch (1871–72) and Daniel Deronda (1876) mark a shift from the sympathetic treatment of commonplace characters in pastoral settings that dominates her early work to a more analytic and critical view of the ways in which human potential, aspiration, and happiness are circumscribed by social conditions and self-delusion. Middle-march, her deep and elaborate analysis of the intricate web of personal and social relationships that defined provincial life in her native Midlands around the time of the passage of the Great Reform Bill, criticizes a society dominated by the pursuit of wealth and social status, analyzes the false expectations that people bring to marriage, and reveals the waste of lives spent in pursuit of illusions. Daniel Deronda, her only novel with a contemporary setting, exposes the effects of the double standard of sexual morality in polite society, the consequences of arranged marriages, and the prejudice against Jews.

By the 1870s, Evans, given her secure role at the center of the elite intellectual and social salon at the Priory, could allow George Eliot's critical intelligence, irony, and skepticism free play. She had weathered years of ostracism and had earned the right to participate with the nation's leading intellectuals in the great discussions of her day. Since Dickens' death, she was regarded as the greatest living novelist. Her income in 1874 exceeded £5,000. Her views on contemporary issues were sought and quoted. Although her essential conservatism prevented her giving full support to the growing women's movement, she contributed to causes that advanced education for women. She had become an idol to a generation of young women like Elma Stuart and Edith Simcox , whose ardent and demonstrative affection she encouraged but sometimes found embarrassing. She had found happiness in her union with Lewes and, by the summer of 1878, had realized her dream of having a house in the country.

This happiness was shattered when Lewes, whose health had been deteriorating for some time, became seriously ill in the fall of 1878. When he died on November 30, she secluded herself in grief for months. She came to terms with her loss by fulfilling her promise to complete the work on psychology Lewes had left unfinished and by establishing a scholarship in his name for a qualified and needy young man or woman at Cambridge. When her friends felt confident that she had reorganized her life, she surprised them by announcing her marriage, in May of 1880, to John Walter Cross, a friend of the family who had served as the Leweses' financial advisor for several years. As he assisted her in arrangements regarding Lewes' estate, Evans transferred her emotional dependence to Johnny, 20 years her junior, who had lost his mother shortly after George Lewes' death. After their

marriage in an Anglican ceremony, she was deeply touched when her brother Issac wrote for the first time since 1857 to send his good wishes.

The Crosses left for a honeymoon in Europe. While they were in Venice, Johnny, in an apparently temporary mental derangement, threw himself from the balcony of their hotel into the Grand Canal. Mary Ann Cross, as she now signed her name, nursed him back to health and, with the help of his family, got him safely back to England. Johnny had bought a house in Chelsea, which he and Evans moved into at the beginning of December. Later in the month, she became ill with a sore throat. Her condition rapidly declined, and she died on December 22, 1880.

John tried to arrange for burial in the poet's corner of Westminster Abbey, but in the light of expressed concerns about Evans' past "antagonism to Christian practice in regard to marriage and Christian theory in regard to dogma," he did not press the issue. She was buried in an unconsecrated plot in Highgate Cemetery near the grave of George Henry Lewes.


Haight, Gordon S. George Eliot: A Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968.

——, ed. Selections From George Eliot's Letters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985.

McSweeney, Kerry. George Eliot (Marian Evans): A Literary Life. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1991.

Redinger, Ruby V. George Eliot: The Emergent Self. NY: Alfred Knopf, 1976.

Taylor, Ina. A Woman of Contradictions: The Life of George Eliot. NY: William Morrow, 1989.

suggested reading:

Ashton, Rosemary. George Eliot: A Life. Penguin, 1997.

Dodd, Valerie A. George Eliot: An Intellectual Life. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1990.

Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979.

Hardy, Barbara. The Novels of George Eliot: A Study in Form. NY: Oxford University Press, 1959.

Karl, Frederick R. George Eliot: Voice of a Century. Norton, 1995.

Showalter, Elaine. "The Greening of Sister George," in Nineteenth-Century Fiction. Vol. 35, December 1980, pp. 292–311.

Patricia B. Heaman , Professor of English, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

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Evans, Mary Anne (1819–1880)

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