This volume was originally published as part of the English Men of Letters series in 1902. This series aimed to bring a critical framework for reading and analysing novels to the large literate audience which had emerged as the result of mass education campaigns in the nineteenth century. Written by eminent scholars and combining biographical details with literary criticism, the English Men of Letters series was extremely successful and occupied a distinctive position in British literary education in the early twentieth century. Written by Victorian scholar and critic Sir Leslie Stephen (1832-1904) this volume examines the life and literary achievements of George Eliot (1819-1880), the first woman novelist to be included in the series. Arranged around Eliot's published novels, the biographical discussion of her life detailing her domestic life and literary criticism of her works reveals late Victorian ideals concerning fiction and a respectable life.