George Eliot

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In existographies, George Eliot (136-75 BE) (1819-1880 ACM) (IQ:175|#269↓) (ID:2.86|61) (RGM:169|1,350+) (Norlinger 22:17) (PR:4.959|65AE / writer:496) (GFG:4) (FA:143) (EPD:M16) (CR:34) (LH:4) (TL:38), born: "Mary Ann Evans" or "Marian Evans" (Hecht, 2003), aka "English Tolstoy" (Buzan, 1994), was an English novelist and realism philosopher, noted for []


In 1854, Eliot began residing with George Lewes, then married, in open marriage of sorts.


In 1854, Eliot, in the house of Adolf Stahr (1805-1876), defended Goethe’s “everything holy overturning” (Heine, 1810) book Elective Affinities, specifically the “sixth commandment” overthrowing end chapter (P2:C18) denouement, which Stahr faulted.

Religion | Atheism

In 1846, Eliot, age 27, translated David StraussThe Life of Jesus: Critically Examined (1835). In 1854, Eliot translated Ludwig Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity (1841). In 1856, Eliot translated Benedict Spinoza’s Ethics (1677).[1]

In 2007, Christopher Hitchens, in his The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever (§10), showcased her nonbeliever efforts.

Pen name

In c.1857, Evans adopted the pen name "George Eliot", a male name, so to be judged as a writer, and not a "female writer", a mixture of the forename of George Lewes[2], and "Eliot", a generic name that was "a good mouth-filling, easily pronounced word".[3]


See main: Middlemarch

In 1872, Eliot, in her Middlemarch, her magnum opus, presented a scaled-up version of Goethe's Elective Affinities, wherein the "estate" or social retort, of Goethe's novel, becomes "Middlemarch" or "town social retort" of Eliot's novel, amid which the subtitles of social dynamics are examined from the narrator point of view, with focus on the character of "Lydgate", i.e. Dr Tertius Lydgate, a newly arrived doctor in Middlemarch, a "Miss Brooke", i.e. Dorothea Brooke, a 19-year-old orphan, living with her younger sister, Celia, as a ward of her uncle, Mr Brooke.

Dorothea is courted by Sir James Chettam, a young man close to her own age, but she is oblivious to him. She is attracted instead to the reverend Edward Casaubon, 45-year-old scholar. Dorothea accepts Casaubon's offer of marriage, despite her sister's misgivings. Chettam is encouraged to turn his attention to Celia, who has developed an interest in him.

Education | Genius ranking

Robert Evans, Eliot's father, supposedly, decided to invest in Eliot's education, beyond that typically afforded to females, per reason that she apparently lacked "physical beauty" to make marriage viable; the following is one take on this:

“Robert Evans apparently observed something exceptional in Mary Anne, or else he feared that her lack of physical beauty would make it difficult for her to marry and, therefore, an education was in order.”
— Karl Frederick (1995), George Eliot: Voice of a Century (pg. 25)[4]

This logic would corroborate with Beckhap's law and with the fact that Eliot, in Middlemarch, has the narrator devote a large portion of time discussing the societal mechanisms of "marriage", observed "from above", in a sort of evolutionary psychology sort of way.

Eliot was said to have been able to read and absorb 40 books per month.[5]

Eliot, of note among female geniuses[6], was the only female in the Cox-Buzan IQ rankings.[7]



Eliot was influenced by: Blaise Pascal, John Milton, Benedict Spinoza, Adam Smith, Alexander Pope, Johann Goethe, Ludwig Feuerbach, David Strauss, Humphry Davy, Miguel Cervantes, William Wilberforce.


Eliot was associated with: George Lewes (in relationship).


Eliot influenced: Virginia Woolf, Christopher Hitchens.


Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Eliot:

George Eliot’s appraisal of Goethe as ‘the man who helps us to raise to a lofty point of observation, so that we may see things in their relative proportions’ is comparable to Georg Lukacs’ characterization of Goethe’s ‘consistently thought-out systemization of these relationships, contrasts and nuances, and his ability to transform all these features into a vivid plot with can characterize them’. For Lukacs, in the plot of Die Wahlverwandtschaften Goethe comes closest to the designs of the nineteenth-century realist novel, of which Middlemarch is the supreme example. The chemical theory is the structural backbone of Goethe and George Eliot’s realism. Chemicals are only electively affined when their attraction excludes other chemicals. In his narrative Goethe uses the framework of two pairs of lovers, whose attraction to different aspects of each other reveals their psychological ‘properties’. Eduard and Charlotte are married, having known each other since childhood; the Hauptmann arrives, and links up with Eduard in their horticultural plans while excluding Charlotte for being too fanciful. Charlotte is satisfied by the arrival of the childlike Ottilie, and is also finding her own measured nature in affinity with the Hauptmann’s. Meanwhile, Ottilie appeals to Eduard’s childlike side, but the Hauptmann finds her ideas disturbing. And so the narrative continues. In Middlemarch, George Eliot systematically elaborates on what Goethe only suggests in Die Wahlverwandtschaften, since each of her four characters is also bound to wider social relationships through affinity.”
— Carl Krockel (2007), D.H. Lawrence and Germany: the Politics of Influence [8]

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Eliot:

“Goethe was the last true polymath to walk the earth.”
— George Eliot (c.1870), Publication

End matter


  1. Translations –
  2. George Lewes – Hmolpedia 2020.
  3. Eliot, George. (1885). George Eliot’s Life as Related in Her Letter and Journals (editor: J.W. Cross) (pg. 219). Crowell, 1884.
  4. Karl, Frederick. (1995). George Eliot: Voice of a Century (Amz) (pgs. 24-25). Norton.
  5. Buzan, Tony; Keene, Raymond. (1994). Buzan’s Book of Genius: And how to Unleash Your Own (pgs. 186-87). Paul.
  6. See: Greatest female geniuses
  7. Cox-Buzan IQ – Hmolpedia 2020.
  8. Krockel, Carl. (2007). D.H. Lawrence and Germany: the Politics of Influence (pgs. 21-22). Rodopi.


  • Eliot, George. (1855). “The Morality of Wilhelm Meister” (pdf), The Reader, Jul 21; in: Selected Critical Writings. Oxford, 1992.
  • Eliot, George. (1872). Middlemarch: a Study of Provincial Life (pdf). Alden, 1883.
  • Eliot, George. (1880). The Journals of George Eliot (Goethe, 96+ pgs). Publisher.


  • Anon. (2020). “George Eliot” (YT), The Great Literature Channel, Jun 21.

External links

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