If we had a keen vision of all ordinary life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heartbeat, and we should die of the roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walks about walk about well-wadded with stupidity. – George Elliot
George Elliot (Mary Anne Evans) assumed a man’s name to overcome the reduced status Victorian English society forced upon women (sound familiar?), and was one of the finest writers in a country of finest writers. Her choice was to write under a pseudonym or stay locked in the attic for failing to occupy her proper sphere and act with purity, piety, submissiveness and devotion to home and hearth, and thereby falling short of the Victorian ideal of true womanhood. Come on, George, was that really too much to ask?
Behind her is pictured the London townhouse where she breathed her last, and the lush English countryside where she breathed her best. The title hints at swinging 1960s London (‘Hey there, Georgy Girl …’), an era that was somewhat kinder to birds.