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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

'It's never too late to achieve'


“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Eliot

Mary Ann Evans said that if she was going to be taken seriously as a novelist she needed to change her identity.  So, she became – George Eliot.  As George, this English journalist and translator became the novelist she longed to be, ultimately regarded as one of the best of the 19th Century.

Born on this date in 1819, she authored 7 novels – including the terrific Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner – known for their realism and psychological insights.

Women did write under their own names during her lifetime, but she said she used a male pen name to escape the stereotype of women only writing lighthearted romances.  And she wished to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic. 

A self-taught writer, in 1850 she became the first female writer hired by The Westminster Review.   By the time she started writing novels in 1858 she was pretty much running the prestigious magazine.  Despite the acclaim she earned as a journalist, she wanted to write creatively and in a style rarely taken by women.   Thus, George Eliot was born.    
Always anxious to achieve, she noted:  “The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.”    

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