The great humanist George Eliot sings the praises of those who act well or kindly in countless unmarked ways, without any song or dance about it. 

See a similar example in her superb Adam Bede, and Vasily Grossman’s plea for the value of untraceable kindnesses.

Long live unsung heroes!

But the effect of her being on those around her is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

Source: George Eliot, Middlemarch, quoted in The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, Harold Bloom (London: Macmillan, 1995), p.331

Photo credit: Wendy Scofield at


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest