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The Mill On The Floss

The Mill On The Floss

Author(s) : George Eliot

On the banks of the river Floss, amidst the vast meadows grow up Maggie and Tom Tulliver, the miller’s children.

Maggie is devoted to her brother, who faces adverse circumstances at a very young age and retrieves the family honour and fortune…. Sadly, the two drift apart. But, when the turbulent Floss overflows its banks and Tom is in danger, Maggie rushes to save him, facing death herself.

Immensely readable, George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss will surely tug at the reader’s heartstrings.

Book Details

George Eliot was the name under which Mary Ann Evans wrote her books, as in those days writing was not thought to be a suitable profession for women. Mary Ann was born on November 22, 1819, the daughter and youngest child of Robert Evans, a propertied man of the Midlands.

Studious even as a schoolgirl, Mary Ann loved reading and was respected by her classmates for her intelligence. She was very pretty but was remembered, as early as at the age of fourteen, for her graceful manner of speaking and the beautiful deep voice that was to impress everyone who met her.

She did not make friends easily but was devoted to her brother Isaac, much as Maggie Tulliver in The Mill on the Floss.

George Eliot began her writing career as a translator. She spoke and wrote excellent German and French and her translations of German literature into English revealed the scholarly habit of mind that we see in her later novels. In fact, she lived for many years in Germany with the scholar, George Henry Lewis and it was not till 1854, when she was nearly thirty-five that she began to write fiction. She wrote short sketches of clerical life for various magazines and these, collected in a single volume and published in 1858, won high praise for their author, whose identity was still unknown.

After that there was no looking back. Adam Bede followed in 1859, and The Mill on the Floss was published in 1860. Soon it became known that George Eliot was the pen name of a woman, a clever strong-minded woman with an observant eye and sensitive ear. Though Mary Ann was criticised as an unconventional woman in her private life, she was praised and enjoyed as a novelist by many, including Queen Victoria.

George Eliot preferred living in the countryside rather than in a town. She always studied her landscape very thoroughly and got to know its people about whom she wrote. That is why her novels of the English countryside have a homespun and authentic flavour.

She continued to produce novels of great volume and power over the years that followed—Silas Marner in 1861, Romola in 1863, Felix Holt in 1866, her masterpiece Middle March in 1871-72 and Daniel Deronda in 1876. She died on December 22,1880 at the age of 61.