Browse Documents (53 total)

  • Tags: Wreath Laying

Address at the George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 2007

As I reflected on 'famous sons and daughters of Nuneaton', I came up with a short list. George Eliot/Mary Anne Evans, Larry Grayson, Ken Loach. George Eliot must have cut quite an unconventional figure in her day. Larry Grayson, that rather gentle…

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…

Address at the George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 1984

I am delighted to be here this afternoon to lay the annual wreath at this ceremony, which was for so long and so happily associated with my mother. As a child I was not over-encouraged to read the works of George Eliot, but I did, so to speak, grow…

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 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.…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 2004

I am honoured and delighted to be here today to pay tribute to my great-great-grandfather, George Henry Lewes, and to George Eliot in the year that marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of their life together. From an early age they have been…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 2003

It is now I suppose more than six months since Kathleen asked me to deliver this address and whilst I have given the task much thought, it is only now, a few days before the event, that I am committing myself to paper. I followed my usual course when…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 2002

I thought that I would talk today about a previously unexplored topic - George Eliot and cats. Unfortunately I find that the reason why the topic is previously unexplored is that George Eliot, unlike the other Eliot, had very little, or possibly…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 2001

Wherefore we come to lay this laurel wreath - Humbly, in reparation for the past, Proudly, in honour of thy worth, With Reverence, as believing still In beauty, truth and love. George Eliot, or Mary Ann Evans as she was known when she lived here in…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 2000

To be asked to lay a wreath and say a few words in celebration of George Eliot, the great authoress, is an honour, I am sure that most of you here today have much more knowledge and understanding of her life and works than I do. But having spent my…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 1999

We are here today to celebrate the life and works of George Eliot. 'I have heard of him, of course, but I have never read any of his books' - that is the expression that I, and many of the guides at Arbury hear when we mention the connection that…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 1998

In paying tribute to George Eliot today we acknowledge a debt of gratitude owed to her for the legacy of wonderful novels which have enriched so many lives during both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As we approach the twenty-first century I…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 1997

I am deeply grateful for the honour of being invited to lay a wreath in memory of George Eliot, and to lay it in a place that meant so much to her... Nuneaton. Before the heavens opened, I pictured us all gathered outside surrounded by green grass,…

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 George Eliot Memorial Gardens Wreath Laying, 1996

Yesterday evening Pat Williams and I much enjoyed performing our recital based on George Eliot's words and on her concert-going and home musical entertainment experiences. Usually a recital programme of this kind is given once and never heard again…

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…