Mary AnnEvans or Marian or George Eliot (1819) the novelist was born near Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Daughter of Robert Eliot a land agent. Her education was completed at a school in Coventry. In 1846 she engaged in her first literary work Life of Jesus. On her father’s death she went abroad and on her return in 1850. She was appointed as the co-editor of the Westminster Review and became a member of a literary circle. In 1850-51 she translated Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity (her only writing to which she attached her real name.) Her greatest work Adam Bede (1859) gave an excellent picture of English country life. It follows The Mill on the Floss (1860) and Silas Marner (1861). In 1860 she visited Florence to prepare for her next great work Romola (gives the pictures of the spirit of the Renaissance in Italy.) Eliot produced some great poems The Spanish Gipsy, Agatha, The Legend of Jubal and Armgart. In 1872 she returned to fiction, Middlemarch (perhaps the most artistically constructed of her books). Her last novel Daniel Deronda (1876). She married Mr. John Cross in March in 1880 but she died on December 22 in the same year.
George Eliot has a high place among the Victorian fiction writers. Her great power lies in the painting of character especially the shopkeepers, tradesmen, country folks and the lower middle classes of the country-side. Her descriptions of rural scenes have a singular charm. Her general view of life is pessimistic.
The Brontes Charlotte (1816–55), Emily (1818-48), and Anne (1820-49) were the daughters of Patrick Bronté an Irish clergyman who came to live in Yorkshire. Their mother left them in early childhood and Charlotte was the motherly friend and guardian of her younger sisters. Financial difficulties compelled Charlotte to become a school-teacher and later a governesses. Charlotte wrote her first novel The Professor (1857) which published after her death. Jane Eyre (1847) which took the public by storm. It was followed by Shirley (1849) and Villette (1852). In 1854 she married but died in the next year.
Emily Bronté a woman in creating remarkable characters. Her only published novel is Wuthering Heights (1848) a notable work in English literature. Her finest poems are No Coward Soul is Mine and Cold in the Earth.
Anne Bronté wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey (1848).
Their strength and originality have created for Victorian women novelists a high place in English literature. In their concern with the human soul they were to be followed by George Eliot and Meredith.