Androgyny Image
Androgyny Image

George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evan, born in Enland in 1815 and considered to be one of the most important Victorian novelists, her most famous work being the well known Middlemarch. Eliot stirred controversy by cohabitating with her partner George Henry Lewes who was married and had children with another woman during his partnership with Eliot.

Evan purportedly took on the pen name of George Eliot in order to have her works taken more seriously in a male dominated literary society. She was also of soundly androgynous description, at least according to this description by Henry James in a letter to his father::


She had a low forehead, a dull grey eye, a vast pendulous nose, a huge mouth full of uneven teeth and a chin and jawbone 'qui n'en finissent pas'... Now in this vast ugliness resides a most powerful beauty which, in a very few minutes, steals forth and charms the mind, so that you end, as I ended, in falling in love with her. Yes, behold me in love with this great horse-faced bluestocking.

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George Eliot