George Eliot is the Pen Name of Mary Ann, or Marian, Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), an English novelist. She was roughly contemporary with Charles Dickens, but started writing later than he did. Her first fiction, an installment of a story later collected in Scenes of Clerical Life, was published in 1857, and her first novel, Adam Bede, in 1859. Her best-known novels are Silas Marner and Middlemarch, the latter usually being considered her masterpiece.
She wrote chiefly about rural, provincial middle-class life — the subtitle of Middlemarch is "A Study of Provincial Life" — and was a shrewd observer of people's thoughts and motivations, with a dry sense of humour.
Her novels are:
- Adam Bede (1859)
- The Mill on the Floss (1860)
- Silas Marner (1861)
- Romola (1863)
- Felix Holt (1866)
- Middlemarch (1871–72)
- Daniel Deronda (1876)
Her other fiction includes:
- Scenes of Clerical Life (1858), a collection of three stories.
She also wrote poetry, and (after giving up her childhood Anglican faith) translated antireligious works such as Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity from the German. The OED references her as the first use of the words "lampshade" and "lunchtime", and is also the first recorded use of the word "pop" as in Pop. Perhaps of even more importance to tropers, she wrote Silly Novels by Lady Novelists, perhaps the first ever listing of Mary Sue Tropes.
She lived fairly openly with her lover George Henry Lewes, whom she considered her husband though he was married to another woman (they had an open marriage). It was one factor in her using a pen name, given how scandalous such a relationship was at the time. She supported abolition of slavery, aiding the poor, feminism, Irish home rule and religious skepticism through essays in the left-wing Westminster Review. She was briefly married to John Walter Cross in her last year of life.
Oh, and her family vehemently denied she had a very big right hand. Why?
Works by George Eliot with their own trope pages include:
Other works by George Eliot provide examples of:
- Moustache de Plume: Eliot is one of the best-known examples.