This was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, who was born at South Farm, Arbury, on November 22, 1819. Her parents, Robert Evans and Christina Pearson, were married in Astley Church in February 1813.
Her aunt, Ann Garner, is buried in Astley churchyard; she was portrayed as one of the Dodson sisters in "The Mill on the Floss". Her father, Robert, was a land agent for the Newdigate family.
In George Eliot's book "Mr Gilfil's Love Story", which is published in the collection "Scenes of Clerical Life", she writes about the church as "Knebley Church" and describes features which are still present today.