This novel is #11 on my researched Top Classic Novels. I won't attempt to add to the excellent summaries already provided. The novel was written from 1871 to 1872, a decade after another of her popular novels "The Mill on the Floss". As mentioned in my Comment on Bronte's "Wuthering Heights", it was difficult for women to publish using their own names during this period. Even at the end of the 1800's, Mary Ann Evans was publishing her works under what would be assumed to be a man's name. See my GerryD Lists for more great novels.