Henry James said of Eliot, "She is magnificently ugly--deliciously hideous...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."
George Eliot was the pseudonym of Mary Anne Evans. The author was born on November 22, 1819, at Arbury Farm, Warwickshire, and was the youngest of five children. Mary Anne was afforded the privileges of a private education. She enjoyed books and learning from a young age; she was introspective and quiet, much like her character Dorothea in Middlemarch, so she was a bit of an anomaly among young women of the time. Unfortunately, Mary Anne was forced to leave school at the age of 19, when her mother died in early 1839. Her father continued to indulge her love of learning, purchasing books for her and helping her to learn German and Italian.