HomeAbout George Eliot

About George Eliot

George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans (1819-1880), remains one of the best-known and highest acclaimed authors of English literature. The George Eliot Archive, launched in 2019, is the only scholarly website devoted exclusively to the study of Eliot’s life and works.  

In lieu of offering a biographical sketch of George Eliot’s life, which the reader may find easily on other websites, in this “About George Eliot” section we will provide several unique, interactive tools. These tools are designed to be enormously helpful to new and veteran scholars, affording new ways to drill down into unexplored facets of the author's life, including

(1) our chronology of Eliot’s life expands on the book-length study written by Timothy Hands, drawing on information gleaned from her journals and letters;   

(2) a set of interactive historical maps. Our first map shows Eliot's four extended trips to Italy in the 1860s. More maps of Eliot's travels are also planned for this section, especially for England, her home country, as well as Spain and Germany; and

(3) a relationship web summarizing and visually representing Eliot's most relevant connections with family members, friends, and business colleagues. We have summarized more than 150 relationships and will continue to add more.

The George Eliot Archive team and its consultant editors aim to eliminate speculation and bias by relying on primary documents, such as the author's letters and journals, whenever possible. Without the foundational transcriptions and editions of these documents by Eliot scholars such as Gordon Haight, William Baker, John Rignall, Rosemary Ashton, Margaret Harris and Judith Johnson, our site would not be possible.

Our team of editorial consultants (John Burton, Constance Fulmer, Margaret Harris, Kathleen McCormack, Robert Muscutt, and John Rignall) have helped to verify the accuracy of this work, however, if you notice anything that looks incorrect, the errors are almost certainly ours at the George Eliot Archive and we invite you to send input and suggestions to the editor at brilett2@unl.edu 


Relationship Web
Interactive Maps