97 George Eliot Quotes from the English Novelist and Poet

George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, an English novelist best known for writing “Middlemarch”.

Born in Nuneaton in 1819, she lost her mother at 17 and later moved to Coventry, where she joined a group of intellectuals and lost her Christian faith.

After her father’s death, she settled in London, worked as an editor and started a relationship with the married but separated George Henry Lewes.

Inspired by Lewes to write fiction, she adopted a male pseudonym to avoid judgment due to her controversial personal life.


Her initial works, influenced by Wordsworth and contemporary genre painting, were published in Blackwood’s Magazine. “Middlemarch,” her most famous novel, was published in eight parts from 1871-72.

After Lewes’s death, she married John Cross but died of kidney disease within a year.

I have picked the best quotes from George Eliot.

Best George Eliot Quotes


A patronizing disposition always has its meaner side. ~ George Eliot.


One must be poor to know the luxury of giving. ~ George Eliot.


No man can be wise on an empty stomach. ~ George Eliot.


It is surely better to pardon too much, than to condemn too much. ~ George Eliot.


Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them. ~ George Eliot.


It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Eliot.


Time, like money, is measured by our needs. ~ George Eliot.

You must love your work and not always be looking over the edge of it wanting your play to begin. ~ George Eliot.

I would not creep along the coast but steer Out in mid-sea, by guidance of the stars. ~ George Eliot.


Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. ~ George Eliot.

Receptiveness is a rare and massive power, like fortitude. ~ George Eliot.

Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow. ~ George Eliot.

If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence. ~ George Eliot.

Famous George Eliot Quotes


The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men. ~ George Eliot.

Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts – not to hurt others. ~ George Eliot.

It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted. ~ George Eliot.

I flutter all ways, and fly in none. ~ George Eliot.

There is one order of beauty which seems made to turn heads. It is a beauty like that of kittens, or very small downy ducks making gentle rippling noises with their soft bills, or babies just beginning to toddle. ~ George Eliot.


It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees. ~ George Eliot.

It is a common sentence that knowledge is power; but who hath duly considered or set forth the power of ignorance? Knowledge slowly builds up what ignorance in an hour pulls down. ~ George Eliot.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. ~ George Eliot.

The law and medicine should be very serious professions to undertake, should they not? People’s lives and fortunes depend on them. ~ George Eliot.


Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face. ~ George Eliot.

Be courteous, be obliging, but don’t give yourself over to be melted down for the benefit of the tallow trade. ~ George Eliot.

I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music. ~ George Eliot.

Top George Eliot Quotes

Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words. ~ George Eliot.


It’s a father’s duty to give his sons a fine chance. ~ George Eliot.

I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved. ~ George Eliot.

Deep, unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state. Suffering can be likened to a baptism – the passing over the threshold of pain and grief and anguish to claim a new state of being. ~ George Eliot.

Hear Everything and judge for yourself. ~ George Eliot.

Those who trust us educate us. ~ George Eliot.

Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love. ~ George Eliot.

A good horse makes short miles. ~ George Eliot.

A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away. ~ George Eliot.

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. ~ George Eliot.

Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning; but give me the man who has the pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing. ~ George Eliot.

A woman’s hopes are woven of sunbeams; a shadow annihilates them. ~ George Eliot.

Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right. ~ George Eliot.

Popular George Eliot Quotes

It will always remain true that if we had been greater, circumstance would have been less strong against us. ~ George Eliot.

I am afraid of nothing but that we should miss the passing of our lives together. ~ George Eliot.

It is always good to know, if only in passing, charming human beings. It refreshes one like flowers and woods and clear brooks. ~ George Eliot.

Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are. ~ George Eliot.

What novelty is worth the sweet monotony where everything is known, and loved because it is known? ~ George Eliot.

All meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation. ~ George Eliot.

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined – to strengthen each other – to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~ George Eliot.

Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it: it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker. ~ George Eliot.

Iteration, like friction, is likely to generate heat instead of progress. ~ George Eliot.

I beg your pardon: correct English is the slang of prigs who write history and essays. And the strongest slang of all is the slang of poets. ~ George Eliot.

What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? ~ George Eliot.

Great George Eliot Quotes

The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice. ~ George Eliot.

Decide on what you think is right, and stick to it. ~ George Eliot.

Will not a tiny speck very close to our vision blot out the glory of the world, and leave only a margin by which we see the blot? I know no speck so troublesome as self. ~ George Eliot.


It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view. ~ George Eliot.

After all, the true seeing is within. ~ George Eliot.

A fool or idiot is one who expects things to happen that never can happen. ~ George Eliot.

Go forward with joyful confidence. ~ George Eliot.

Hold up your head! You were not made for failure, you were made for victory. Go forward with a joyful confidence. ~ George Eliot.

Poetry and art and knowledge are sacred and pure. ~ George Eliot.

History repeats itself. ~ George Eliot.

Beautiful George Eliot Quotes

Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles. ~ George Eliot.

Affection is the broadest basis of a good life. ~ George Eliot.

Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love. ~ George Eliot.

Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music. ~ George Eliot.

Say “I love you” to those you love. The eternal silence is long enough to be silent in, and that awaits us all. ~ George Eliot.

The human heart finds nowhere shelter but in human kind. ~ George Eliot.

No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from. ~ George Eliot.

Joy and sorrow are both my perpetual companions, but the joy is called Past and the sorrow Present. ~ George Eliot.

The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another. ~ George Eliot.

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. ~ George Eliot.

George Eliot Quotes on Love

I am not imposed upon by fine words; I can see what actions mean. ~ George Eliot.

The beauty of a lovely woman is like music. ~ George Eliot.

A peasant can no more help believing in a traditional superstition than a horse can help trembling when he sees a camel. ~ George Eliot.

Selfish – a judgment readily passed by those who have never tested their own power of sacrifice. ~ George Eliot.

It is as useless to fight against the interpretations of ignorance as to whip the fog. ~ George Eliot.

A woman may get to love by degrees—the best fire does not flare up the soonest. ~ George Eliot.

Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. ~ George Eliot.

That golden sky, which was the doubly blessed symbol of advancing day and of approaching rest. ~ George Eliot.

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it. ~ George Eliot.

The darkest night that ever fell upon the earth never hid the light, never put out the stars. It only made the stars more keenly, kindly glancing, as if in protest against the darkness . ~ George Eliot.

Powerful George Eliot Quotes

Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult. ~ George Eliot.

In our spring-time every day has its hidden growths in the mind, as it has in the earth when the little folded blades are getting ready to pierce the ground. ~ George Eliot.

She was no longer struggling against the perception of facts, but adjusting herself to their clearest perception. ~ George Eliot.

We don’t ask what a woman does; we ask whom she belongs to. ~ George Eliot.

Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity. ~ George Eliot.

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms. ~ George Eliot.

So our lives glide on: the river ends we don’t know where, and the sea begins, and then there is no more jumping ashore. ~ George Eliot.

Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure. ~ George Eliot.


The pride of the body is a barrier against the gifts that purify the soul. ~ George Eliot.

Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them: they can be injured by us, they can be wounded; they know all our penitence, all our aching sense that their place is empty, all the kisses we bestow on the smallest relic of their presence. ~ George Eliot.

I should never like scolding anyone else so well; and that is a point to be thought of in a husband. ~ George Eliot.

So these were the 97 top George Eliot quotes and sayings on love, life, friendship, death, marriage, empathy and memories.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Gabriel García Márquez quotes and George Sheehan quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar