"Adam Bede" was George Eliot's (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans) first published novel in 1859, and it explores the love and loss of a young man in the 1800s.
In "Adam Bede", Eliot again represents the humour and wit of the lower classes through their rural dialect and idiom, a skill that had captivated readers and helped to establish her as a writer of humour, pathos, and social realism. Such wit is concentrated in Mrs. Poyser, master of the colourful maxim, and leaves the narrator more distant than in the earlier story. Eliot interrupts the narrative, nevertheless, to instruct the reader in the aesthetic rules of realism.
"Adam Bede"'s plot follows four characters' rural lives in the fictional community of Hayslopea rural, pastoral and close-knit community in 1799. The novel revolves around a love triangle between beautiful but self-absorbed Hetty Sorrel, Captain Arthur Donnithorne, the young squire who seduces her, Adam Bede, her unacknowledged suitor, and Dinah Morris, Hetty's cousin, a fervent, virtuous and beautiful Methodist lay preacher.