The life of George Meredith was similar to hundreds of other great poets who were alive during the Victorian era, but what in this particular man’s life made him stand apart from everyone else?
He was born, in Portsmouth, England on February 12th 1828 and he died, in Flint Cottage on Box Hill in England on May 18th 1909.  He had parents and grandparents, he attended school (if only for a brief time), and eventually he wed, had children, and along the way, became a successful poet and novelist. So how might you ask, was his life any different?
Little did he know, but from a young child to an elderly adult, Meredith would have to endure to loss of three important women whom he all held dear to his heart. When Meredith was one a child, his mother died,  as a young adult, Meredith’s adulterous first wife died,  and before himself, his second wife passed on.
At the young age of five, Meredith’s mother passed away, and soon after his own father embarked for London, tossing Meredith off to the countryside where for a short period he resided with his grandparents. It is said that after the passing of his mother, Meredith’s childhood was not a happy one. 
Upon entering the work force as a young adult, Meredith apprenticed under the solicitor Richard Stephen Charnock,  and after becoming introduced to Charnock’s circle of friends, Meredith met his first wife, the enchanting, intelligent, thrilling, and widowed, Mary Ellen Nicolls. On August 9th, 1849, the couple married,  and together they had a son named Arthur; however several years into their marriage, it all began to fall apart. In 1858, Mary Ellen eloped with the artist Henry Wallis.  In 1861, a few years after this fiasco, Mary Ellen Meredith died very suddenly from what was believed to be a form of Bright’s disease. Many scholars today have argued that Mary Ellen Meredith may have been the great love of Meredith’s life, and that she inspired many of his poet works. 
When Meredith wed for the second time, his new wife, Marie Vulliamy was as unlike Mary Ellen as humanly possible; she was practical and domestic.  On July 13th 1864, Meredith wrote a letter to his friends Mr. and Mrs. William Hardman, where it said, “and here is Marie, writing a race with me, by my side: and difficulties have been smoothed; we have indeed plunged through powerful conflicts … and by miracle we bear out our Rose from it, fresh, fragrant – did ever man have such a reward?”  By difficulties, it is possible that Meredith is referring to the death of his first wife, because it probably brought up conflicting emotional issues from when his mother had died. Lucky for him, Marie stayed by his side through this tough time, and evidently, he is grateful for this. On September 20th in 1864, the happy couple was married.  Meredith and Marie were married for approximately twenty-two years, and on September 18th, 1886, she died of cancer. 
The passing of loved one’s is a challenge that life never prepared us for, and in some cases, this acceptance can have interesting effects. Modern scholars often criticize Meredith on his personal reasoning’s behind wanting a wife, who would cater to his ego, but we are also shown by these scholars that this is merely the affect of being deprived of maternal care at a very young age.  In proceeding through the journey of life, Meredith encountered three difficult situations, all of which resulted in the losing of a loved one.
– UVic Engl 386/2012W
 Elvira Casal, “George Meredith (1828-1909) – A Brief Biography,” The Victorian Web. October 13th 2004. Web. March 14th 2012.
 C.L. Cline, The Betrothal of George Meredith to Marie Vulliamy. (Nineteenth Century Fiction: University of California Press, December 1961).
 Casal, “George Meredith.”