From The Victorian Age in Literature:
[George Eliot's] originals and even her contemporaries had shown the feminine power in fiction as well or even better than she. Charlotte Bronte, understood along her own instincts, was as great; Jane Austen was greater. The latter comes into our present consideration only as that most exasperating thing, an ideal unachieved. It is like leaving an unconquered fortress in the rear. No woman later has captured the complete common sense of Jane Austen. She could keep her head, while all the after women went about looking for their brains. She could describe a man coolly; which neither George Eliot nor Charlotte Bronte could do. She knew what she knew, like a sound dogmatist: she did not know what she did not--like a sound agnostic. But she belongs to a vanished world before the great progressive age of which I write.