George Eliot in Love - Brenda Maddox

I’m a longtime fan of British author and journalist Brenda Maddox, who has won many prizes for her biographies of Nora Joyce, Yeats, D.H. Lawrence, and others.  Readers will be captivated by GEORGE ELIOT IN LOVE (Palgrave Macmillan, $25), her new portrait of Marian Evans (the pen name of George Eliot). Described by Henry James as “horse-faced” and “magnificently ugly,” Eliot found unexpected deep happiness and companionship in 24 years of co-habitation with the legally married George Lewes, a member of London’s literary avant-garde.  Lewes’s emotional support was so great that Eliot never wrote before she met him or after he died.  Her royalties were staggering, the equivalent of $400,000 for her second novel, The Mill on the Floss, but by the laws of the day, the money belonged to Lewes, not Evans.