Monday, September 14, 2009

~ Quotation by Mary Ann Evans, aka George Eliot

In 1860, Mary Ann Evans published The Mill on the Floss under the pen name, George Eliot. In the same year, Dickens published his first installment of Great Expectations.

Interesting people were born in 1860: William Jennings Bryan, Gustav Mahler, Anton Chekhov and Lizzie Borden.

In 1860 golfer Willie Park won the first British Open (or "The Open") golf tournament in Ayrshire, Scotland.

And in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States. By his own account, Lincoln had left politics in his younger years, but found his way back into the political game. He endured financial problems, depression, the death of a child -- and yet managed to fulfill the uniquely challenging duties of his Presidency.

Lincoln's contemporary, writer Mary Ann Evans, published her novels (Silas Marner, Adam Bede, etc.) as "George Eliot." In the 19th century, many women used male names to ensure that their work be taken seriously. Even Joanne Rowling, as late as in the 1990s, was discouraged from using her "female" name, lest boys not take to her Harry Potter book. Her publishers suggested a name change . . . J.K. Rowling.

I hope that the publishing industry has finally evolved - that if Joanne Rowling were starting out today, editors wouldn't find it necessary to de-feminize her byline.

I've always loved Mary Ann Evans' quote: "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

These words seem especially appropriate this week, at the start of a new school year. Living in a university neighborhood, I always feel energized when students return to campus -- bright-eyed, hopeful, prepared for take-off. I bought a brand-new 5-subject binder today. I'm not enrolled in classes . . . it's just nice to start off with a clean slate.

It's time to start writing the chart for "272 Words." If you're planning on making charted designs, don't follow my example -- please! The gory truth is: I stitched this piece without a detailed chart, mostly eyeballing my way across the linen, fast and loose. Ideally, one should plot a chart and stitch from it.

Now I feel like Sherlock Holmes with the magnifying glass, poring over the sampler, counting stitches and spaces. The Case of the Uncharted Design. ;)

Thank you kindly for taking the time to visit last week. I am deeply grateful for your comments, which have energized me through the next phase of this journey.


  1. I love George Eliot! What a great quote! Are you going to chart that piece too? So nice! Good luck with the charting of the address. I'm so glad you're charting it!

  2. Good to hear from an Eliot/Evans fan! Margaret, the sampler is a "stand in" I use from my collection, to offer some color/design variety to the blog photos. "It Is Never Too Late" was charted and released about three years ago. This link has the details - thanks.

  3. Fabulous quote ~ so glad you provided a link!

  4. I LOVE this design! Thanks for sharing the photo and the link. I've already emailed my local shop with the Hoffman's item number and asked them to order it for me. :)