George Eliot Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Anusuya Mukherjee
Jan 31, 2024 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on May 08, 2022
Fact-checked by Spandana Kantam
Mary Ann Evans chose to write under the pseudonym George Eliot.
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Read time: 6.3 Min

About George Eliot

Mary Ann Evans, better known as George Eliot, was born on November 22, 1819.
Even though she lived in the Victorian era of England, this author was not an uptight Victorian. She had a notoriously scandalous love life and among other linguistic accomplishments, she deserves credit for coining the term 'pop', as in pop music.
Eliot wrote her books under a male pseudonym to dissociate herself from the conventional female novelist stereotype she despised the most. Rather than writing what she regarded as improbable romantic and silly novels like those expected of lady novelists, she portrayed life precisely as it was. Her writings were recognized for their realism, psychological insight, sense of place, and rich depiction of rural areas. She also wanted her writing evaluated separately from her other work as a translator, editor, and critic.

George Eliot's Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was George Eliot’s net worth?

George Eliot's net worth is not available.

How much did George Eliot earn per year?

There are no accurate estimates of the annual earnings of George Eliot.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was George Eliot?

No information is provided regarding the height of George Eliot.

How old was George Eliot?

Born on November 22, 1819, George Eliot was 61 years old when she died on December 22, 1880.

Childhood And Education

In 1819, George Eliot was born in Nuneaton, England. She was born on an estate where her father was the manager. This allowed Eliot to spend time in the estate's library, where she broadened her knowledge.
She went to Mrs. Wallington's School at Nuneaton, rural Warwickshire, where she was influenced by Maria Lewis, the school's principal governess. Maria instilled in her a solid evangelical faith in Christianity. Her father sent her to school in France and Italy, where she studied French and Italian reading comprehension. After her mother's death, she was compelled to return home to look after her father. In 1841, with the assistance of Coventry's educational establishments, she relocated there with her father.
Eliot met Charles and Caroline Bray while living in Coventry and they prompted her to doubt her religion by introducing her to new religious and political concepts. In 1841, Eliot began reading rationalist writings, causing her to reject formalized religion. She also became acquainted with thinkers in Coventry who broadened her perspective. Her father's decision to renounce caused a decline in their relationship until he died in 1849. Eliot described herself as a rationalist for the rest of her life.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was George Eliot's family?

Mary Ann Evans was born in Nuneaton in the county of Warwickshire to Robert Evans and Christiana Evans. She was their third child. She had two siblings, Isaac Evans and Fanny Evans.
Mary Ann's father, Robert Evans, was the administrator of Arbury Hall Estate in Warwickshire for the Newdigate family and she was born on the estate at South Farm. The family moved to Griff House, between Nuneaton and Bedworth, in early 1820. Eliot's mother died when she was just 17 years old and she returned home to take care of her father. George Eliot and her father relocated to Coventry in 1841.

Who was George Eliot married to?

In 1851, George Eliot was hired as an assistant editor at 'Westminster Review'. She met several leading philosophers during her time with the 'Review', including Herbert Spencer, who introduced her to George Henry Lewes, a drama critic and a philosopher. They fell in love, but they could not marry because Lewes had a wife from whom he was estranged. Eliot and Lewes lived together in 1854 despite Lewes being married and not able to divorce. This was considered quite scandalous for the age they lived in.
On May 16, 1880, Eliot married John Walter Cross and changed her name for the second time, now to Mary Ann Cross. Due to their age gap, the marriage generated a little tension. They relocated to a new residence in Chelsea, but Eliot became ill with a throat infection. This was exacerbated because of kidney disease. She died at the age of 61 on December 22, 1880, due to complications from her kidney disease and throat infection.
As she had rejected the Christian faith and due to her adulterous affairs with Lewes, Eliot was not buried in Westminster Abbey. This resulted in her being interred at Highgate Cemetery (East). In Highgate Cemetery's Area for Political and Religious Dissenters and Agnostics, she was laid to rest beside George Henry Lewes, her soulmate.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Eliot took the pen name George Eliot because writing was previously seen as a male vocation. Eliot published her first collection of short stories under the pseudonym in 1858, earning rave reviews from writers such as Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray.
Eliot began writing late in life, but whatever she produced had a long-term impact on the world. Among her early literary works were three short stories, including 'Mr. Gilfil's Love-Story', which was a fantastic tale of its time. These were published in 1857 in 'Blackwood's Magazine'. Her novel, 'Adam Bede', hit bookstores with a thud the following year. Although readers may not have been able to finish the book, she came up with another book the following year, 'The Mill On The Floss'. 'Silas Marner' and 'Romola' followed quickly after that. Both were published in quick succession in 1961 and 1963, respectively. Although she established her reputation as a novelist, she also dabbled in poetry. Her first poem, 'Knowing That I Must Soon Depart From This Tabernacle', is a poem that describes a dying person about to bid farewell to Earth.
Eliot used her linguistic abilities to help translate foreign works into English throughout her life. She translated David Friedrich Strauss's 'Das Leben Jesu' (The Life Of Jesus), a highly contentious German work that claimed Jesus Christ was a real person but not God. In addition, Eliot translated 'The Essence Of Christianity' by German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach and 'The Latin Ethics' by Benedict de Spinoza, incorporating aspects of these philosophical and religious concepts into her own writings.
Eliot was not a misogynist, but she did have a few harsh things to say about other female writers. Eliot despised the trifling characters and implausible storylines that she felt were nearly unavoidable characteristics of novels produced by women in her time. She did, however, praise writers like Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell for writing worthwhile books despite their gender.
George Eliot was a novelist, essayist, and now best-known for her contributions to the development of modern novels. Her novels include 'Romola' (1862–63), 'Adam Bede' (1859), 'Silas Marner' (1861), 'The Mill On The Floss' (1860), 'Middlemarch' (1871–72), 'Felix Holt', 'The Radical' (1866), and 'Daniel Deronda' (1876). Her work is recognized for its realism, psychological insight, sense of place, and detailed portrayal of rural life.
She is most recognized for her classic novels 'Middlemarch' and 'Silas Marner'. 'Middlemarch' has been called 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people', by author Virginia Woolf and 'the greatest novel in the English language', by Martin Amis and Julian Barnes.

Other Interesting George Eliot Facts And Trivia

The graves of Karl Marx, a German philosopher, and Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher, are close to Eliot's grave.
In her memory, a memorial stone was erected in Poets' Corner on the centenary of her death in 1980.
Nuneaton has several landmarks dedicated to her memory, including George Eliot School, Middlemarch Junior School, George Eliot Hospital (formerly Nuneaton Emergency Hospital), and George Eliot Road in Foleshill, Coventry.
Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, in Riversley Park, houses a George Eliot collection.
A statue of the novelist and poet stands in Newdegate Street, Nuneaton.

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George Eliot Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Mary Ann Evans

Date of Birth

1819-11-22

Date of Death

1880-12-22

Nationality

British

Place of Birth

Nuneaton

Height

0 cm

Child Star?

No

Occupation

Novelist, Poet, Journalist, Translator

Education

Miss Franklin's school

Partner

John Walter Cross

Parents

Robert Evans, Christiana Evans

Siblings

Fanny Evans, Isaac Evans
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Sources

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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