Here is a passage from chapter 6:
"The lady's complexion was almost swarthy, and the dark down on her upper lip was almost a moustache. She had a large, firm, masculine mouth and jaw; prominent, piercing, resolute brown eyes; and thick, coal-black hair, growing unusually low down on her forehead. Her expression—bright, frank, and intelligent—appeared, while she was silent, to be altogether wanting in those feminine attractions of gentleness and pliability, without which the beauty of the handsomest woman alive is beauty incomplete."Reading these lines I thought of this woman:
Then the lady says to Walter Hartright "You see I don't think much of my own sex..." To some extent, this seems to be true for George Eliot as well.
As it turns out, the character's name is Marian Halcombe, and George Eliot's real name is Mary Ann Evans, also written as Marian Evans- is this a coincidence?
P.S: There is a word, Japanese and untranslatable, that perfectly fits Marian as described by Hartright: Bakku-shan, "a beautiful girl, as long as she is viewed from behind".