50 Essence of Life Quotes by George Eliot

Last updated on Nov 21st, 2022

50 Essence of Life Quotes by George Eliot

George Eliot, pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans (born November 22, 1819, in Warwickshire, England – died December 22, 1880, in London, England), was an English novelist, poet, journalist, and one of the leading writers of the 19th century.

Eliot’s most notable works include Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1863), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876).

Her novels are known for their realism and psychological analysis, characteristic of contemporary fiction.

1

A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.Daniel Deronda (1876), Book II. Meeting Streams, Chapter XV

2

There is no private life which has not been determined by a wider public life.Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), Chapter III

3

The best augury of a man’s success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world.Daniel Deronda (1874), Book VIII. Fruit and Seed, Chapter LVIII

4

The beginning of an acquaintance whether with persons or things is to get a definite outline for our ignorance.Daniel Deronda (1874), Book II. Meeting Streams, Chapter XI

The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history. - George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss Quotes)
5

The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.The Mill on the Floss (1860), Book VI. The Great Temptation, Chapter III

6

Learning to love any one is like an increase of property – it increases care, and brings many new fears lest precious things should come to harm.Letter to the Hon. Mrs. Robert Lytton (July 8, 1870), George Eliot's Life, as Related in her Letters and Journals, Chapter XVI

7

The truth is the hardest missile one can be pelted with.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book IV. Three Love Problems, Chapter XXXVIII

8

Blessed influence of one true loving human soul on another!Scenes of Clerical Life (1858), Janet's Repentance, Chapter 19

9

Knowledge slowly builds up what ignorance in an hour pulls down.Daniel Deronda (1876), Book III. Maidens Choosing, Chapter XXI

Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them. - George Eliot (Adam Bede Quotes)
10

Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them.Adam Bede (1859), (ed. 1952), Book I, Chapter 10. Dinah Visits Lisbeth, Page 101

11

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book VIII. Sunset and Sunrise, Chapter LXXII

12

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.Scenes of Clerical Life (1858), Mr Gilfil's Love Story, Chapter 7

13

It never will rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.The Spanish Gypsy (1868), Book III

14

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.Impressions of Theophrastus Such (1879), A Man Surprised at his Originality

Only in the agony of parting we look into the depths of love. - George Eliot (Felix Holt, the Radical Quotes)
15

Only in the agony of parting we look into the depths of love.Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), Chapter XLIV

16

The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another.Daniel Deronda (1876), Book VI. Revelations, Chapter XLVI

17

Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book II. Old and Young, Chapter XXII

18

Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside itself – it only requires opportunity.Scenes of Clerical Life (1858), Janet's Repentance, Chapter 13

19

What makes life dreary is the want of motive.Daniel Deronda (1876), Book VIII. Fruit and Seed, Chapter LXV

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. - George Eliot (Daniel Deronda Quotes)
20

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.Daniel Deronda (1876), Book VI. Revelations, Chapter XLII

21

For what is love itself, for the one we love best? – an enfolding of immeasurable cares which yet are better than any joys outside our love.Daniel Deronda (1876), Book VIII. Fruit and Seed, Chapter LXIX

22

In the vain laughter of folly wisdom hears half its applause.Romola (1863), Chapter 12

23

Pain must enter into its glorified life of memory before it can turn into compassion.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book VIII. Sunset and Sunrise, Chapter LXXVIII

24

No great deed is done by falterers who ask for certainty.The Spanish Gyspy, Book I

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving! - George Eliot (Middlemarch Quotes)
25

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving!Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book II. Old and Young, Chapter XVII

26

We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what we imagine might have been.Daniel Deronda (1874), Book VII. The Mother and the Son, Chapter LVII

27

No compliment can be eloquent, except as an expression of indifference.The Mill on the Floss (1860), Book VI. The Great Temptation, Chapter II

28

An ass may bray a good while before he shakes the stars down.Romola (1863), Chapter 50

29

Men outlive their love, but they don’t outlive the consequences of their recklessness.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book V. The Dead Hand, Chapter LII

Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are. - George Eliot (Middlemarch Quotes)
30

Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book VII. Two Temptations, Chapter LXX

31

Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.The Mill on the Floss (1860), Book VI. The Great Temptation, Chapter III

32

The most terrible obstacles are such as nobody can see except oneself.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book VIII. Sunset and Sunrise, Chapter LXXVI

33

Beauty is part of the finished language by which goodness speaks.Romola (1863), Chapter 19

34

The worst of all hobbies are those that people think they can get money at. They shoot their money down like corn out of a sack then.The Mill on the Floss (1860), Book VI. The Great Temptation, Chapter VII

No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from. - George Eliot (Daniel Deronda Quotes)
35

No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.Daniel Deronda (1876), Book VII. The Mother and the Son, Chapter LVII

36

The best travel is that which one can take by one’s own fireside, in memory or imagination.Letter to Elma Stuart (September 12, 1876), Letters from George Eliot to Elma Stuart: 1872-1880 (ed. 1909), Page 62

37

The finest language is chiefly made up of unimposing words.Adam Bede (1859) (ed. 1952), Book VI, Chapter 50. In the Cottage, Page 436

38

The only failure a man ought to fear is failure in cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), Chapter XLV

39

The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.The Mill on the Floss (1860), Book VII. The Final Rescue, Chapter III

If you are to rule men, you must rule them through their own ideas. - George Eliot (Daniel Deronda Quotes)
40

If you are to rule men, you must rule them through their own ideas.Daniel Deronda (1874), Book IV. Gwendolen Gets her Choice, Chapter XXXIII

41

A prig is a fellow who is always making you a present of his opinions.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book I. Miss Brooke, Chapter XI

42

It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book I. Miss Brooke, Chapter VII

43

Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.The Mill on the Floss (1860), (1860), Book I. Boy and Girl, Chapter X

44

Our words have wings, but fly not where we would.The Spanish Gypsy (1868), Book III

There are but two sorts of government: one where men show their teeth at each other, and one where men show their tongues and lick the feet of the strongest. - George Eliot (Romola Quotes)
45

There are but two sorts of government: one where men show their teeth at each other, and one where men show their tongues and lick the feet of the strongest.Romola (1863), Chapter 39

46

The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book VIII. Sunset and Sunrise, Finale

47

Perhaps the most delightful friendships are those in which there is much agreement, much disputation, and yet more personal liking.Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), Chapter X

48

Those who trust us educate us.Daniel Deronda (1876), Book V. Mordecai, Chapter XXXV

49

People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors.Middlemarch (1871-1872), Book VIII. Sunset and Sunrise, Chapter LXXII

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. - George Eliot (Adam Bede Quotes)
50

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.Adam Bede (1859), (ed. 1952), Book IV, Chapter 29. The Next Morning, Page 281

No Source

1

It is never too late to be what you might have been.No source (More info)

2

Adventure is not outside man; it is within.No source

3

Keep true. Never be ashamed of doing right. Decide what you think is right and stick to it.No source

Misattributed

1

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.Vincent van Gogh (More info)

2

Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.F. O. Hamilton (More info)