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She also wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic.
The closeness to Coventry society brought new influences, most notably those of Charles and Cara Bray.
Charles Bray had become rich as a ribbon manufacturer and had used his wealth in the building of schools and in other philanthropic causes.
In 1836 her mother died and Evans (then 16) returned home to act as housekeeper, but she continued correspondence with her tutor Maria Lewis.
When she was 21, her brother Isaac married and took over the family home, so Evans and her father moved to Foleshill near Coventry.
Her classical education left its mark; Christopher Stray has observed that "George Eliot's novels draw heavily on Greek literature (only one of her books can be printed correctly without the use of a Greek typeface), and her themes are often influenced by Greek tragedy".
Her frequent visits to the estate also allowed her to contrast the wealth in which the local landowner lived with the lives of the often much poorer people on the estate, and different lives lived in parallel would reappear in many of her works.
The young Evans was a voracious reader and obviously intelligent.
Because she was not considered physically beautiful, Evans was not thought to have much chance of marriage, and this, coupled with her intelligence, led her father to invest in an education not often afforded women.
Through this society Evans was introduced to more liberal and agnostic theologies and to writers such as David Strauss and Ludwig Feuerbach, who cast doubt on the literal truth of Biblical stories.
In fact, her first major literary work was an English translation of Strauss's The Life of Jesus (1846), which she completed after it had been left incomplete by another member of the "Rosehill Circle"; later she translated Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity (1854).