English, Department of


First Advisor

Dr. Beverley Rilett

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura White

Date of this Version

Spring 4-2022

Document Type



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professors Beverley Rilett and Laura White. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Hailey S. Fischer,


Biographers of George Eliot, when writing about her childhood, have focused on her close and complicated relationships with two of the most important men in her life, her father Robert Evans and brother Isaac Evans. Less discussed are Eliot’s relationships with her immediate female family members, her mother Christiana Pearson Evans and her sister Christiana (Chrissey) Evans Clarke. This thesis reviews the predominant interpretations of Eliot’s relations with her father and brother. It also pulls together the known information about Christiana and Chrissey from several major biographies and adds new insights from Eliot's letters in combination with two of her most famous fictional works, Adam Bede (1859) and The Mill on the Floss (1860).

Advisors: Beverley Rilett and Laura White