Mary Ann Evans was born in November 1819, in Warwickshire, England, to a local mill-owner, Robert Evans and his wife Christiana Evans. Mary adopted the male pseudonym, George Eliot, to ensure that her works were taken seriously.
Eliot’s first major literary work was an English translation of the Life of Jesus (1846) by Strauss. Some of her earliest prose writings were published in Bray’s newspaper, the Coventry Herald and Observer.
Her short narratives were followed by a long novel, Adam Bede, which was published in 1859. An instant success, it built her reputation. But the public soon became suspicious about the author behind George Eliot. and by the time of the publication of the Mill on the Floss in 1860, her authorship had been tentatively guessed by many.
The Mill on the Floss is a remarkable portrayal of childhood with gradually developing characters. Tt was followed by Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1863), Felix Halt (1866) and Middlemarch (1871-72). Her novels can be termed as those of psychological realism.
Eliot died in 1880 aged sixty-one and was buried at High gate Cemetery. She is still considered the most learned among all the women novelist in the nineteenth century.