Synopses & Reviews
Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family. As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men: her proud and stubborn brother, a close friend who is also the son of her family's worst enemy, and a charismatic but dangerous suitor. With its poignant portrayal of sibling relationships, The Mill on the Floss is considered George Eliot's most autobiographical novel; it is also one of her most powerful and moving.
In this story the author recreates her own childhood through the story of the gifted Maggie Tulliver and her spoilt, selfish brother. Though tragic in its outcome, this comic novel combines vivid images of family life with a portrait of the heroine.
Includes bibliographical references: p. [xliv]-xlv.
New chronology and updated further reading.
Edited with an Introduction by A. S. Byatt.
About the Author
(Mary Ann Evans Cross) was born on November 22, 1819 at Arbury Farm, Warwickshire, England. She received an ordinary education and, upon leaving school at the age of sixteen, embarked on a program of independent study to further her intellectual growth. In 1841 she moved with her father to Coventry, where the influences of “skeptics and rationalists” swayed her from an intense religious devoutness to an eventual break with the church. The death of her father in 1849 left her with a small legacy and the freedom to pursue her literary inclinations. In 1851 she became the assistant editor of the Westminster Review
, a position she held for three years. In 1854 came the fated meeting with George Henry Lewes, the gifted editor of The Leader
, who was to become her adviser and companion for the next twenty-four years. Her first book, Scenes of a Clerical Life
(1858), was followed by Adam Bede
(1859), The Mill on the Floss
(1860), Silas Marner
(1861), and Middlemarch
(1872). The death of Lewes, in 1878, left her stricken and lonely. On May 6, 1880, she married John Cross, a friend of long standing, and after a brief illness she died on December 22 of that year, in London.
A. S. Byatt, novelist, short-story writer, and critic, is the author of many books, including Possession, winner of the Man Booker Prize.