The Real George Eliot is a biography written by Lisa Tippings. For as long as I can remember, I have known that George Eliot was the pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans, The Mill On The Floss being her most famous book.
I believe my love of the book and author began from a BBC costume drama shown on Sunday afternoons during my childhood; however, I can recall very little of the story and in my mind the image of a mill and a stream get muddled with another childhood image, Constable’s Haywain. So reading this book and learning about the life of Mary Ann and how much of her upbringing and experiences probably influenced her writing was very interesting.
The book also contains several black and white photographs from landmarks and places associated with Mary’s life. I haven’t spent any time in the part of the country where she lived, but I now feel better prepared should I ever get the chance to visit the area. The author’s enthusiasm for George Eliot and her works shine through in this book and it was a very interesting book to pick up and dabble through.
View all my reviews on Goodreads
The Real George Eliot revisits the life of the ground breaking nineteenth century novelist and focuses on the impact she had on her readers, including the biographer herself. Eliot was a writer who explored the nature of religion, the role of marriage in society, and the struggle that could emerge between a person’s public and private persona. Her own private life was the cause of much speculation and notoriety. Eliot chose to ignore most of the conventions of Victorian society in order to pursue her own happiness, and her relationship with George Henry Lewes scandalised many members of ‘polite’ society. Regardless of this, however, she overcame such prejudice and in later life enjoyed the company of some of the greatest thinkers and academics of the time, and this is a testament to her formidable intelligence. The fact that she is still so widely read today, is a sign of the longevity of her skills as a writer.