George Eliot
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"Mary Ann Evans", known by her pen name "George Eliot", was an English novelist, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England and known for their realism (arts)/realism and psychological insight.

She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure her works would be taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot's life, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women only writing lighthearted romances. She also wished to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic. An additional factor in her use of a pen name 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 over 20 years.

Her 1872 work Middlemarch has been described by Martin Amis and Julian Barnes as the greatest novel in the English language.

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We ust find our duties in what comes to us, not in what might have been.

What we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.

Can any man or woman choose duties? No more that they can choose their birthplace, or their father or mother.

But pride only helps us to be generous; it never makes us so, any more than vanity makes us witty.

Every man who is not a monster, mathematician or a mad philosopher, is the slave of some woman or other.

The troublesome ones in a family are usually either the wits or the idiots.

Wear a smile and have friends, wear a scowl and have wrinkles.

Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.

Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.

Perhaps the most delightful friendships are those in which there is much agreement, much disputation, and yet more personal liking.

When one is grateful for something too good for common thanks, writing is less unsatisfactory than speech-one does not, at least, hear how inadequate the words are.

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.

Different taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.

I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.

There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

One of the tortures of jealousy is that it can never turn its eyes away from the thing that pains it.

We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us.

There's folks 'ud stand on their heads and then say the fault was i' their boots.

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories.

It is never too late to become what we might have been.

Childhood has no forebodings, but then, it is soothed by no memories of outlived sorrow.

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.

Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.

It is a common enough case, that of a man being suddenly captivated by a woman nearly the opposite of his ideal.

What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?

Our deeds are like children that are born to us;they live and act apart from our own will.

The scornful nostril and the high head gather not the odors that lie on the track of truth.

The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.

Our deeds are like children that are born to us; they live and act apart from our own will. Nay, children may be strangled, but deeds never: they have an indestructible life both in and out of our consciousness.

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined... to strengthen each other... to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.

Some people did what their neighbors did so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.

No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.

Be courteous, be obliging, but don't give yourself over to be melted down for the benefit of the tallow trade.

It is only a poor sort of happiness that could ever come by caring very much about our own pleasures. We can only have the highest happiness such as goes along with being a great man, by having wide thoughts and much feeling for the rest of the world as well as ourselves.

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.

It is easy to say how we love new friends, and what we think of them, but words can never trace out all the fibers that knit us to the old.

Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right; decide on what you think is right and stick to it.

I'm proof against that word failure. I've seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life?

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us worthy evidence of the fact.

There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope.

Ignorance gives one a large range of probabilities.

No evil dooms us hopelessly, except the evil we love, and desire to continue in and make no effort to escape from.

Excessive literary production is a social offense.

The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another.