After the success of her first full-length novel, Adam Bede, George Eliot quickly set to work on the writing of a second novel, encouraged both by her husband-agent, George Henry Lewes, and her publisher, John Blackwood. Curiously, she knew that the story would end tragically in a cataclysmic flood before she even knew what the details of that story would be. In January 1859 she researched the flood-history of the River Dove, near her childhood home in Wawickshire, but it was clearly not floody enough. Rivers in Weymouth and Dorchester failed to inspire her a few months later, and finally it was the Trent River at Gainsborough in Lincolnshire that provided her with the requisite images for the fictional village of St. Ogg's on …
Uglow, Nathan. "The Mill on the Floss". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2002; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=167, accessed 26 April 2015.]