Mary Anne (Mary Ann, Marian) Evans, better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England and well known for their realism and psychological insight.
She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works were taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names, but Eliot wanted to ensure that she was not seen as merely a writer of romances. An additional factor may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny and to prevent scandals attending her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes, with whom she lived for more than 20 years.
"Perhaps the most delightful friendships are those in which there is much agreement, much disputation, and yet more personal liking."