George Eliot: The Mill on the Floss

(1938 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

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 …

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Uglow, Nathan. "The Mill on the Floss". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2002
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]