Test Cover Image of:  The Real Life of Mary Ann Evans

The Real Life of Mary Ann Evans

George Eliot, Her Letters and Fiction

Bodenheimer defines the personal paradoxes that helped to shape Eliot's fictional characters and narrative style.

Author Information


Rosemarie Bodenheimer is Professor of English at Boston College. She is the author of The Real Life of Mary Ann Evans: George Eliot, Her Letters and Fiction and The Politics of Story in Victorian Social Fiction, both from Cornell.


"Here we have the first full-scale study of George Eliot's correspondence.... Both the fictive nature of the letters and the autobiographical reality of fiction are well discussed in this very welcome book."

"The Real Life of Mary Ann Evans is a critical book in which Eliot's letters and novels become one unit.... Bodenheimer talks about very unusual topics."

"An attentive reader of this book will never read George Eliot in the same way again."

"A richly compelling portrait of nineteenth-century British writer George Eliot.... Rather than arranging her material in standard chronological fashion, Bodenheimer has elected to present her analysis via a series of critical issues that affected both the social and literary styles of George Eliot throughout the course of her life. A fascinating hybrid of literary criticism and biography."

"Alert to the carefully deployed, multiple masks that Mary Ann Evans chose to wear, but also capable of writing with genuine feeling of Eliot's actual and fictional labors of choice, Bodenheimer has managed to write that seemingly impossible thing, postmodern biography that a humanist can admire."

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