Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
George Eliot lived with her lover, George Henry Lewes (who happened to be married and had kids) from 1854 until his death in 1878. She took his name (going by Marian Evans Lewes) even though they never actually got married (source).
George Eliot married someone else not too long after George Lewes died. His name was John Cross and he was twenty years younger than she was (source). No cougar jokes, please.
F.R. Leavis, who is one of the most-studied and most-respected literary critics of the twentieth century, thought the novel would have been better if Eliot had cut out the entire "Jewish plot" and focused on Gwendolen's story instead (source).
In 1899 a Jewish periodical called Ha-Shilo'ah argued that the Gwendolen sections of the novel should be eliminated because they distracted from Daniel Deronda's true meaning (source).
Since Daniel Deronda was published in installments, Eliot actually sent the earlier parts of the novel out to print before she even finished the end of the book. This meant that she couldn't go back and change any of the beginning of the novel – people were already reading it. Talk about pressure!