Biography: George Eliot

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George Eliot, born as Mary Ann Evans in 1819, grew up in England, quickly learning about the Victorian culture around her despite the country’s increasing growth of industrialism. Eliot did exceptionally well at the boarding schools she attended as a child. Her road to success was being paved. At the age of seventeen her mother died, leaving her to manage the household with the help of her sister. Yet Eliot would become much more than a homemaker. Soon she began writing for the Westminster Review, eventually rising to the rank of assistant editor. It was here where she met the already married George Henry Lewes, with whom she lived until his death. It was this relationship which helped her rise in the ranks of the literary community, eventually becoming a famous author.
Eliot’s move to London in 1849 marked a new beginning for her promising career, quickly improving her circle of literary friends. Soon she was disowned by her family when they realized she was living in sin with Lewes, whom she regarded as her true, if not legal, husband. Eliot would also leave her church, deciding that she didn’t believe in the faith any longer. Despite her rejection by her family and others for these matters, Eliot would soon gain acceptance as one of the foremost (and highest paid) novelists of her time. Silas Marner was published in 1861 under the pen-name of George Eliot, when she was forty-two years of age.

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