Mary Ann Evans, better known as English author George Eliot, was not a mother. In fact, she spent much of her highly unconventional life with a married man, inviting scandal and ostracization. Instead of raising a family, she devoted her life to the written word.
That did not stop her from making startlingly accurate observations about motherhood, especially as relates to mothers and sons. This may have been because girls were less likely to roam far from their birthplace, and therefore their mothers did not tend to suffer the pangs of longing caused by sons that left for college or abroad. Nevertheless, Eliot's poignant musings on the maternal instinct and a mother's love would still prove familiar to most moms today.
Many of her remarks involve the sweetness of babies and small children in their mothers' arms or on her knee. Others note that once a woman becomes a mother, she will remain so until she dies. Eliot's observations are not always warm or cheerful, however. She writes, for instance, that while women necessarily live for their children while they are young, they must begin to live again for themselves once their children grow up.
Overall, this author's ability to remark upon a facet of human nature she never experienced proves her the powerful observer of humanity critics have believed her to be for more than a century.