The women novelists form a class apart in Victorian novel. Mrs. Gaskell, The Bronte Sisters and George Eliot made memorable contribution to the development of English novel.
With the growth of commerce and industry, the prestige of the old feudal nobility was on the wane and the middle class was steadily increasing in social and political power. The middle class people were inclined to morality, sentiment and reality. The novel reflected the temperament of the middle class and hence became popular.