George Eliot’s father had not been highly educated but was very good at running the Arbury estate. Although the family wasn’t rich, he made sure that George Eliot and her brother Isaac were well educated. When she was three years old she was sent to school. This was run by Mrs Moore from her own cottage, not far away from Griff House.
In 1824 Eliot was sent away, with her sister Chrissey, to Miss Lathom’s boarding school in Attleborough. Isaac was sent to school in Coventry. Later Eliot went with Chrissey to another boarding school, run by Mrs Wallington, in Nuneaton.
When she was 13, George Eliot moved to a school in Coventry run by Miss Mary and Miss Rebecca Franklin. She did well as a student and won a school prize for French in her first year. She met children from different backgrounds and countries, including girls from India and America. In 1835 Eliot had to leave school and return home to care for her mother, who had cancer.
Eliot’s mother sadly died in February 1836. She stayed at home to run the house for another 5 years. Her father employed music and language tutors for her. Eliot was also given access to the library at Arbury Hall by Lady Newdigate. In 1841 Eliot and her father left Griff and moved to Coventry.