Browse Documents (877 total)

Victorian Britain - An Encyclopedia

There is an old adage that if you have a large problem, the best way to tackle it is to break it down into small parts and deal with each in turn. The trouble with this theory is that if your problem is as large as the Victorian era the…

Buried Treasure

Most commentors agree that George Eliot furnished her early stories from memories of actual places, events and people encountered in her childhood and youth in Warwickshire. In making this (perhaps involuntary) choice so soon after her liaison with…

Adam Bede and Riehl's "Social-political Conservatism"

George Eliot's Adam Bede is seen frequently to be a good, but flawed novel, an interesting precursor to the much finer Middlemarch and other later novels. U. C. Knoepflmacher, in Georqe Eliot's Earlv Novels: The Limits of Realism, considers that,…

Shakespearean Allusions in 'Janet's Repentance'

This paper is part of a comprehensive survey of Shakespeare's influence on George Eliot's writing, an influence widely recognised by critics but rarely given the detailed analysis it deserves. It seems to me that a study of this sort is needed…

Review of The Language of Gender and Class: Transformation in the Novel by Patricia Ingham

Patricia Ingham begins her study of six Victorian novels - Charlotte Bronte's Shirley (1849), Mrs Gaskell's North and South (1855), Dickens's Hard Times (1854), George Eliot's Felix Holt (1866), George Gissing's The Unclassed (version of 1884), and…

Review of The Power of Knowledge: George Eliot and Education by Linda K. Robertson

This book, volume 61 of the University of Kansas Humanistic Studies series, purports to do one thing but delivers another. According to the blurb on the back cover, Robertson demon-strates that George Eliot had much to say on a number of educational…

The Politics of Religion in Felix Holt

In chapter 3 of Felix Holt, the narrator gives an account of the 'social changes in Treby parish', including the altered character of Trebian Dissent. It had been of a quiescent, well-to-do kind, represented architecturally by a small venerable,…

Review of George Eliot's Middlemarch: A Guide for Students and Readers of the Novel

Among certain readers of this review, those already equipped with personal computers capa-ble of launching Cruise missiles at the twitch of a mouse, my opening paragraph will, if any-thing, pucker lips. But among the uninitiated it will probably…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 2001

In June 1990, the Revd Dr Edward Carpenter gave this address, exactly ten years after he, as Dean of Westminster, conducted the service when the stone memorializing George Eliot was unveiled. In his address Dr Carpenter reminded his audience that…

Review of George Eliot by Pauline Nestor

Having recalled George Eliot's central position in the pantheon of nineteenth-century thought and belief, Pauline Nestor begins this fine, closely argued book by considering Eliot's relevance today. Was John Bayley, for example, right when he said in…

Review of George Eliot: A Bibliographical History by William Baker and John C. Ross

This enormously impressive history is the fruit of something like thirty-five years of work by William Baker and John Ross. They have brought together a huge and comprehensive body of bibliographical information, broken down into five main sections…

Review of Rereading George Eliot: Changing Responses to her Experiments in Life by Bernard J. Paris

While he was still writing his doctoral thesis, which became his influential Experiments in Life: George Eliot's Quest for Values (1965), Paris fully accepted the rhetoric in Eliot's fiction that is designed to shape our moral and intellectual…

Review of The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1830--1914 edited by Joanne Shattock

This anthology, edited by Joanne Shattock, with an introduction and contribution by her, contains a rich variety of essays by scholars from British, American and Canadian universities. It begins its survey of Victorian culture in the seven years…

Conference Report, Annual George Eliot Conference, 2014: "Romola and Felix Holt"

George Eliot's two Marmite novels - given their reputations, not everyone tries them, and when they do, they often leave them only partially digested - Romola (1862-3), the one she famously said aged her, and Felix Holt (1866), the one with that…

Conference Report, George Eliot Conference, 2014: "Middlemarch"

Only by combining papers on Romola and Felix Holt. did the 2013 George Eliot Conference manage to attract a tolerably-sized audience; no such problems for the 2014 Conference on Middlemarch. This excellent event was oversubscribed and had to be moved…

Review of George Eliot, Poetess by Wendy S. Williams

The word 'poetess' is contentious. For some it rankles, because the diminution of 'poet' is generally considered gratuitous, patronizing and offensive. More often than not, it belittles women writers and their work. Others, however, argue that it is…

Review of Victorian Narratives of the Recent Past: Memory, History, Fiction by Helen Kingstone

The nineteenth century saw a number of ways in which amateurs and professional historians and novelists approached the presentation of history, especially histories of the recent past. Eminent, professional historians at universities, and those…

A Glimpse of Nineteenth Century Nuneton

“November 22nd, 1819 – Mary Ann Evans was born at Arbury Farm at five o’clock this morning” reads the famous entry in the journal of Robert Evans. The glimmer of candlelight from the windows of Arbury Farm was the only relief from the…

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Florence Re-visited

In the autumn of 1982 Kathleen and I had the opportunity to visit Florence with a group studying Renaissance … For us this was of course a golden chance to make a … literary pilgrimage in the steps of George Eliot and … George Lewes, to see the…

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Obituary: Herbert Van Thal

'Bertie' Van Thal mode contact with the George Eliot Fellowship in the early l970's as a result of a letter to the Times from the secretary in which she proposed the Alliance of Literary Societies. The suggestion was one which earned Bertie's…

Review of George Eliot's Midlands: Passion in Exile by Graham Handley

Various biographies and critical studies argue that Mary Ann or Marian Evans's formative years in the Midlands influenced George Eliot's art. They do so by explaining that memories of Robert Evans contributed to George Eliot's conceptions of Adam…

Review of George Eliot by Kristen Brady

Brady rounds on Haight for his persistent use of two phrases, 'some one to lean on' and '[she] was not fitted to stand alone', which crop up throughout his biographical writing on Eliot. But, Bray reminds us, these phrases are lifted from Charles…

The Representation of Place in Middlemarch

Critics in the past have tended to refer to the rootedness of characters in George Eliot's novels. This is particularly true of Adam Bede, where the naturalistic roots of characters are often explicitly stated, such as when Dinah affirms 'I'm not…

Toast to the Immortal Memory of George Eliot, 2006

I was surprised, honoured and delighted by the invitation to join you today and propose the toast to the immortal memory of George Eliot. I am no George Eliot expert, or indeed scholar, although I am an enthusiast. She is, after all, Warwickshire's…

Address at the George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 2006

May I begin by thanking the Fellowship for the invitation to be the principal guest at the annual wreath-laying ceremony. My association with today's event goes back over a number of years bringing students to lay a floral tribute at the obelisk.…