George Eliot, author of "Middlemarch", Adam Bede", "Silas Marner", "Felix Holt" and "Mill on the Floss" was the greatest literary heroine of the 19th century. At the peak of her career she was one of the three most famous women in Victorian England. This book draws upon Eliot's previously unpublished letters to create a revised portrait of her both as a woman and as an artist. The author examines the Victorian contradictions she faced as an intellect, a sensitive individual and a plain woman, rejecting the view of previous biographers that she depended on men. Rather, he sees each of her unusual relationships - with Charles Bray, John Chapman, Herbert Spencer and finally with the married Lewes - as a form of absorption of their place in the masculine world that was denied to her directly.
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