Sara Hennell was born in Hackney, London in 1812. She first met George Eliot in 1842 at Rosehill. This was the Coventry home of Sara’s sister and brother-in-law, Cara and Charles Bray. Sara and Eliot became friends and corresponded regularly for the next 12 years. In 1851 Sara moved to Coventry with her mother and lived next door to the Brays. Sara worked as a governess and was also a published author and translator.