Ardent, impulsive, thirsty for knowledge, Maggie Tulliver is one of the great heroines of literature. George Eliot drew on her own anguished childhood when she depicted the stormy relationship between Maggie and Tom Tulliver. Maggie's often tormented battle to do her duty and belong on the one hand, and to be herself, wild and natural on the other, propels her from one crisis to another. As the Tulliver fortunes decline and fall, the rift between Maggie and her family becomes almost irreconcilable. But Maggie's biggest mistake of all is to fall in love with Stephen Guest who is engaged to another woman. Both a sharp and observant picture of English rural life and a profoundly convincing analysis of a woman's psychology, The Mill on the Floss is a novel that tackles the complexities of morality versus desire.