Browse Documents (26 total)

  • Tags: Westminster Abbey

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1984

It was George Eliot's Parson GiIfil who "smoked very long pipes, and preached very short sermons". Anyone speaking on this occasion (whether clergyman or layman) should remember Parson GiIfil, and preach a very short sermon! But standing here, and…

George Eliot's Place in Westminster Abbey

On June 21st, as part of the celebrations of the centenary of her death, a plaque will be unveiled in Westminster Abbey in memory of George Eliot. It has taken a hundred years for her to achieve this belated benediction. Her husband, John Cross, had…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 2014

Every one of us attending this ceremony in Poets' Corner today is surely conscious of a great debt of gratitude to George Eliot for the legacy of her works. This year, partly due to the appearance of Rebecca Mead's memoir, one particular work -…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 2010

It seems extraordinary to think that 150 years ago Mary Ann Evans, a young woman with very few resources apart from a strong conscience and an enquiring mind, almost ruined her life by revealing to her father that she was no longer certain that the…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 2005

Not all great writers are great readers, but George Eliot certainly was. A voracious reader of other writers - Dante, Goethe, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Scott - she was also very fond of reading aloud. Her husband, John WaIter Cross, praised…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 2004

150 years ago, in 1854, George Eliot, still Marian Evans at that point, and George Henry Lewes made the momentous decision to live together. They did so for 24 years until Lewes died and, in the first five years together, made literary history. We…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 2003

I'm a member of just two literary fellowships: one, or course, is the George Eliot Fellowship; the other is the Dickens Fellowship. As a Dickensian as well as an Eliotian, I'm very aware of the fact that, almost every year since 1986, which marked…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 2002

Dear George Eliot You don't know me - but I have been a great admirer of yours for a long time now, since I was at school in fact. I must have been very young when I first had parts of your novels read to me. Later when I was…

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…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 2000

When Gabriel Woolf was standing here a few years ago, he told us the various things that he was not, in relation to George Eliot; for example that he was not an author fresh from the tri-umph of the latest biography or other learned work, or an…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1999

The Guest of Honour was The Rt Hon. Chris Smith, MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The Address he gave is summarized below: Mr Smith is a great admirer of George Eliot and it is said that he takes with him on holiday each year one…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1998

I take a strange pleasure in being associated, no matter how vicariously, with the greatest novel-ist in the English language. I am by no means sure that she would approve of this event. Asked about God, Immortality and Duty - strange topics of…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1997

The nineteenth century was an age of travellers, including many famous British women trav-ellers. Lady Hester Stanhope lived for years in the Middle East, Mary Kingsley explored the jungles of Gabon and died while performing medical work in South…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1996

It has always seemed to me, and doubtless to many others, that some of the most moving and evocative words ever written by George Eliot occur near the beginning of the third chapter of her last novel, Daniel Deronda: A human life, I think, should be…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1996

What can I say about the great writer whom we are gathered here to commemorate that is new, witty or informative or even interesting? After all, you will appreciate that I am not an academic so I can't offer you a Marxist viewpoint, certainly not a…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1992

George Eliot and religion is a vast subject and one that can only be lightly touched on today. But it is relevant to our being here because of the memorial stone in front of us. It took 100 years to get here and, because of the years of fund-raising…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1991

It seems incredible that it is now eleven years since the very exciting and moving day in June 1980 when a great congregation of some seven hundred people witnessed the consecration of this memorial to George Eliot. In the years before, the…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1990

The story, if it were told in its entirety and the evidence was available, of those who are memorialised in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey would make fascinating reading. Many of the illustrious whose names are there recorded had to wait long years…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1989

One of the Shakespeare quotations most frequently used by George Eliot in her writings is an otherwise little-known phrase from As You Like It, Act 1 scene iii, where Rosalind, about to leave the court for the Forest of Arden, says, 'O, how full of…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1988

In June 1856 George and Marian Lewes (for it would not yet be right to call her 'George Eliot') were staying in North Devon. While George was collecting specimens on the beach, Marian was preoccupied with work for the Westminster Review, her 'Belles…

Westminster Abbey: June 19, 1982

Two years ago I sat within my thought, The congregation large, the readings clear Falling upon that outward public ear, And somehow could not find what I had sought; She should not be here, she whose spirit had caught Compassion, sympathy, all that…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1981

It is a great honour to be invited to this ceremony in Westminster Abbey, to celebrate the woman hailed by Turgenev as the greatest living English novelist: history has confirmed her position as one of the greatest writers the English novel has ever…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1987

We are here today to pay our respects and do homage to the memory of a great artist and an astonishing woman. Although she died over a hundred years ago, I know that to many members of the George Eliot Fellowship and to readers around the world, she…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1986

ROSEMARY MARTIN was our Guest of Honour. She had been invited because of her very sympathetic portrayal of Dolly Winthrop in the BBC Television film of 'Silas Marner' - a much loved character with a special place in George Eliot's novel. After she…

Address at the Westminster Abbey Wreath Laying, 1985

'The Quiet Conquest' is the title of the Huguenot exhibition celebrating Huguenot Heritage Year – 300 years since the revoking of the Edict of Nantes - currently showing at the London Museum. The origins and earliest application of the term Huguenot,…