George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, a walking, breathing lesson in the power of having a single-minded will. Sure, other women authors were publishing under their own names by the time she wrote what some have called the greatest English novel, Middlemarch. But, ever a realist, she didn’t want her gender to get in the way of being taken seriously. Also, she was living with a married man for 20 years and didn’t want to cause further scandal. Mary Anne Evans knew what she wanted and pursued her goals with the rugged tenacity of a big game hunter.