12/22/2005: "Wikipedia's Life of George Eliot"
George Eliot, who is one of my favorite writers and whose masterpiece,
Middlemarch, I managed to pick up at Molly's Book Store for only seven
dollars (that's les than a penny a page!), died one-hundred-and-twenty-five
years ago today.
I had originally decided to mark this occasion by writing a brief biography
of the great author; however, do to my busy schedule, I was forced to save
time by simply copying George Eliot's entry in Wikipedia: the world's
number one source for accurate, thoroughly researched information.
The Life of George Eliot
Born Mary Ann "knuckles" Evans on November 22nd, 1819 to a family of
impoverished mistral show performers along the Mississippi Delta, the
child who would latter be know as George "Someone cuts in line, someone
gets cut in line: 'cuz dat's how shit go down when I'm waitin' to
use the gotdamn phone" Eliot first distinguished herself as a keelboat
captain and accomplished Indian-fighter before setting sail for England,
at the age of twenty-two to conquer the literary world.
Upon arriving in the United Kingdom (which at that time was known as
"Jolly, Jolly Panda Land") Eliot sank into a deep, deep, very deep
depression when it was explained to her that one conquered the literary
world by writing a series of critically acclaimed and commercially
successful novels instead of, as Eliot had erroneously assumed, by
wrestling Charles Dickens to the ground and pinning him there until John
Stuart Mill counted to ten.
Alone and penniless, as the British tended to use a coinage called the
"shilling" which weighed over thirty-five pounds (the equivalent of eleven
milligrams or twenty-one dollars if adjusted for inflation was made
entirely pig iron (which, in turn, is made entirely from pigs), Eliot
turned to a life of petty crime. In the Spring of 1849, she was found
guilty of being the ringleader in a plot to swindle a nephew of the Earl
of Warwick out of some bread crumbs which had fallen onto his lap during
an afternoon snack, and sentenced to six months hard labour and three weeks
of light office wourk at Newgate Prison for Women and Outlandish Fops. It
was during this period of incarceration that she settled on her nom de
plumes "George Eliot" and "Butch" and re-resigned herself to her writing
from which she had earlier resigned.
Her first effort, a collection of children's stories titled Immoral,
Sadistic Barnyard Tales was published in 1841 and sold poorly in
England, but was a runaway success in Germany (where it prompted many
children to successfully run away). Barnyard Tales was followed in
rapid succession by The Thrill on the Floss (1842), Silos
Mourner (1843), and I'm Not Spock (1875).
Although never truly financially successful in her lifetime (she was once
forced to allow a transient to lodge in her petticoat) today she is
remembered for redefining the English novel as well as being the inspiration
for Heat's classic rock rocking classic Barracuda.