22 nov 1819
Inspite of the greatest talents exhibited by George Eliot as a novelist, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era, she is often referred to as a person with a non-pleasing personality. Born on Nov 22, 1819 in Nuneaton, England to parents Robert Evans and Christian Evans, Eliot’s real name was Mary Ann Evans. Later she became famous by her pen name ‘George Eliot’.
George Eliot was an intelligent girl and a voracious reader from a very young age. Because of her pale and not so beautiful face, her father sensed that she might have less chances of marriage and so he gave her good education to lead her life. Eliot knew that she was not a good looking young woman. But she was confident by the fact that, her talent and knowledge would beat event the most beautiful faces in the world.
The novel ‘Middlemarch’ written by Eliot is still considered to be the greatest novel in English Literature. Including ‘Middlemarch’, Eliot has written seven novels. Women writers were very common during her period. But Eliot took the additional role of a female editor of a literary magazine which was quite unusual.
Many people criticised her ugly looks. Some people said, ‘It must be a terrible sorrow to be young and unattractive’. But few people who actually interacted with her felt that her beauty of thoughts and the way she expresses it will make anyone forget the fault in her appearance.
Eliot’s affair with men was always talked about. She had affairs with men whom she wasn’t married. She lived for 24 years with George Henry Lewes, who was already married. When Lewes died, she married her friend John Walter Cross, who was 20 years younger than her.
Keeping all personal things aside, George Eliot though not alive today remains to be one of the greatest writers of the Victorian era.