Happy birthday George Eliot!

One of the most luminous, most humane intelligences in history was born two hundred years ago today:

But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Middlemarch, last words