Mary Ann Evans ("George Eliot") was born Nov. 22, 1819, at South Farm, Arbury, Warwickshire, England, where her father was agent on the Newdigate estate. In her youth, she was adept at butter-making and similar rural work, but she found time to master Italian and German. Her first important literary work was the translation of Strauss's "Life of Jesus" in 1844, and shortly after her father's death in 1849 she was writing in the "Westminster Review." It was not until 1856 that George Eliot settled down to the writing of novels. "Scenes from Clerical Life" first appeared serially in "Blackwood's Magazine" during 1857 and 1858; "Adam Bede," the first and most popular of her long stories, in 1859. In May, 1880, eighteen months after the death of her friend George Henry Lewes (see PHILOSOPHY, Vol. XIV), George Eliot married Mr. J. W. Cross. She died on December 22 in the same year. With all her sense of humour there is a note of sadness in George Eliot's novels. She deals with ordinary, everyday people, and describes their joys and sorrows. In "Adam Bede," as in most of her work, the novelist drew from the ample stores of her early life in the Midlands, while the plot is unfolded with singular simplicity, purity, and power.