Two groups of islands far off the coast of England accommodated part or all of George Eliot’s writing of three of her earliest stories. Having composed “The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton” and the beginning of “Mr Gilfil’s Love Story” in London, she drafted the “Epilogue” for the latter, all of “Janet’s Repentance,” and the beginning of Adam Bede, during interludes on the Scilly and Channel Islands, well distant from the mainland, but technically part of England. By the time the couple returned from Jersey, George Eliot had completed her Scenes of Clerical Life and was making headway on the bestseller that changed their lives. This crucial period, which transformed Marian Evans, journalist, into George Eliot, renowned novelist, began during the autumn of 1856, but climaxed with the five-month period in 1857, which the couple divided between the rugged Scilly Isles to the west and the blooming Channel Islands to the south. While living on the island margins of Britain, George Eliot planned and wrote fiction set at its very center, the Midlands area that calls itself “The Heart of England.” After completing the Scenes, she went on to draft Adam Bede, which she famously based partly on her aunt Elizabeth Evans’s story of the condemned infanticide (H&J 296), but which also shows touches of both of the 1857 island destinations, Scilly and Jersey.