Contemporaries on GE's Life

An understanding of how George Eliot’s contemporaries were reading and responding to her published works helps us appreciate her reach, her fame, and her historical significance.

Biographical Studies: In this section, you will find assessments of Eliot’s life by her contemporaries—everything from brief commentary in periodicals to book-length biographies.

Obituary notices are well represented, including several later tributes written by famous authors whose own work was influenced by Eliot’s, including Henry James and Virginia Woolf.

Most significant is the biography written by her husband, John Walter Cross, which includes many of Eliot's letters and journal entries. Reviews of Cross’s biography are collected here for the first time.

It is interesting to note how often early biographical sketches included incorrect information. We retain these, of course, for the benefit of comparison and the historical interest of these records.

A. R.
A. R. "George Eliot." Westminster Budget, 18 Jul. 1902, p. 21.
1902-07-18

Abbot, Willis J.
Abbot, Willis J., Notable Women in History: The Lives of Women Who in All Ages, All Lands, and in All Womenly Occupations Have Won Fame and Put Their Imprint on the World's History, 1913.
1913

Allardyce, Alexander
Allardyce, Alexander. "George Eliot." Blackwood's Magazine, Feb. 1881, pp. 255–268.
1881-02 (Feb)

Ames, Charles Gordon
Ames, Charles Gordon. George Eliot's Two Marriages. Philadelphia: George H Buchanan and Company, 1886.
1886

Author Unknown
"George Eliot." Westminster Review, vol. 124, July 1885, pp. 161-208
1885-07 (July)

Author Unknown [R. W. L.]
[R. W. L.] "The Book World: Women Novelists of To-Day." Black and White, 01 Oct. 1904, p. 484.
1904-10-01

Betham-Edwards, Mathilde
Betham-Edwards, Mathilde. Temple Bar, Vol. 73, 1885, Pgs. 226-232.
1885

Betham-Edwards, Matilda
Macmillan, 1919.
1919

Blind, Mathilde
Blind, Mathilde. George Eliot. Boston, Little, Brown, & Company, 1904.
1904 (First ed 1883)

Bolton, Sarah K.
Thomas Y. Crowell and Co., 1886, pp. 213-39
1886

Boyce, Arthur E.
Boyce, Arthur E. "Letters on Men and Things: On George Eliot." Kentish Mail Greenwich and Deptford Observer, 12 Mar. 1909, p. 3.
1909-03-12

Boyce, Arthur E.
Boyce, Arthur E. "Letters on Men and Things: On George Eliot (Continued)." Kentish Mail Greenwich And Deptford Observer, 19 Mar. 1909, p. 3.
1909-03-19

Bray, Charles
Bray, Charles. Phases of Opinion and Experience during a Long Life: an Autobiography. Longman, Greens, and Co., 1884.
1884

Browning, Oscar
Browning, Oscar. Life of George Eliot. Walter Scott, 1890.
1890

Buchanan, Robert
Buchanan, Robert. A Talk With George Eliot & George Eliot's Life, A Look Round Literature. London Ward and Downey 1887, Pgs. 218-226/314-321.
1887

Burke, Agnes and F. B. Branson.
Burke, Agnes and F. B. Branson. "Some Centenary Observations of George Eliot." The Sun, 23 Nov. 1919.
1919-11-123

Clarke, Isabel C.
Clarke, Isabel C. Six Portraits (1935) Books for Libraries Press Inc. Freeport, NY, 1967, pp. 137-192.
1935

Clifford, Lucy
Clifford, Lucy. “A Remembrance of George Eliot.” Nineteenth Century 74, July 1913, pp. 109-118.
1913-07(July)

Clifford, Lucy
Lucy Clifford, A Remembrance of George Eliot, Nineteenth Century and After, Vol. 74, 1913, Pgs. 109-118.
1913

Cooke, George Willis
Cooke, George Willis. George Eliot: A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings, and Philosophy. March 1884
1884

Cooke, George Willis
Cooke, George Willis. George Eliot: A Critical Study. Boston and New York. Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1884.
1883

Cross, John Walter
Eliot, George and J. W. (John Walter) Cross. George Eliot's Life: As Related In Her Letters And Journals. Cabinet Edition, Vol. 1-3, William Blackwood and Sons, 1885. George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.
1885

Deakin, Mary H.
Manchester University Press, 1913.
1913

Dowden, Edward
Dowden, Edward. "[A Review of] George Eliot's Life as Related in her Letters and Journals." Academy, no. 666, 7 Feb. 1885, pp. 89–91.
1885-02-07

Downes, Annie Sawyer
Downes, Annie Sawyer. "George Eliot. One of her Receptions. Face— Figure—Manner—Voice—Dress," New York Daily Tribune, March 25, 1876, Pg. 7
1876-03-25

E. M.
E. M. "George Eliot and Immortality." London Echo, 19 Oct. 1891, p. 4.
1891-10-19

Escott, T.H.S
Escott, T.H.S. "Lions and Lionesses in the 60s and Since." Platform, Press, Politics & Play, Being Pen and Ink Sketches of Contemporary Celebrities from the Tone to the Thames, via Avon and Isis. Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd., 1895, pp. 256-267.
1895

Field, Kate
Field, Kate. "Recollections." Cincinnati Commercial, 26 Dec. 1880, p. 6.
1880-12-26

Field, Kate
Field, Kate. "English Authors in Florence," Pgs. 860-871, December 1864.
1864

Fields, Annie Adams
Century Magazine, vol. 58, Jul. 1899, pp. 442-446
1899-07 (July)

Fremantle, Anne
Fremantle, Anne. George Eliot: Great Lives. Camelot Press Ltd. London and Southhampton, 1909, Pgs. 9-144.
1909

Gardner, Charles
Gardner, Charles. The Inner Life of George Eliot. Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, LTD. London, Bath and New York 1912
1912

Gray , Helen Cone and Gilder, Jeannette L.
Cassell and Company, 1888.
1888

Gribble, Francis
Gribble, Francis. "[A Review of] John Blackwood by Mrs. Gerald Potter." London Review, 19 Nov. 1898, p. 14.
1898-11-19

Griswold, Hattie Tyng
A. C. McClurg, 1887.
1887

Hambley, E.B.
E.B. Hambley, The Life and Letters of George Eliot, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 137, 1885, Pgs. 155-176.
1885

Hamley, E. B.
Hamley, E. B. "The Life and Letters of George Eliot." Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 137, Feb. 1885, pp. 155–176.
1885-02 (Feb)

Harrison, Frederic
Harrison, Frederic. "The Life of George Eliot." Fortnightly Review, vol. 43, Mar. 1885, pp. 309–322.
1885-03 (Mar)

Hutton, R. H.
Hutton, R. H. Contemporary Review, Vol. 47, 1885, Pgs. 372-391.
1885

Hyatt, Alfred
Hyatt, Alfred. "Arts and Letters." London Middlesex Gazette, 12 Oct. 1901, p. 7.
1901-10-12

Ireland, Annie E.
Ireland, Annie E. “George Eliot and Jane Welsh Carlyle.” Gentleman’s Magazine 264, 1888, pp. 229-238.
1888

James, Henry
James, Henry. "George Eliot's Life." Atlantic Monthly, May 1885, vol. 55, pp. 668–678.
1885-05 (May)

James, Henry
James, Henry. The Middle Years. New York Charles Scribner's Sons 1917, Pgs. 60-86.
1917

Ker, Cecil
Ker, Cecil. Women Who Have Made Good - George Eliot. The Platt & Peck Co. Copyright 1916, Pgs. 52-57.
1916

Kingsley, Rose G.
Kingsley, Rose G. “The Country of George Eliot.” Century Magazine 30, 1885, pp. 339-52.
1885

Kitchel, Anna Theresa
Kitchel, Anna Theresa. George Lewes and George Eliot. New York: The John Day company, 1933.
1933

Linton, Eliza Lynn
Linton, Eliza Lynn. Review of George Eliot's Life, Temple Bar, 1 Jan. 1885, pp. 512–524.
1885-01-01

Linton, Eliza Lynn
Hodder and Stoughton, 1899.
1899

Linton, Eliza Lynn
Linton, Lynn. "My Impressions of George Eliot." St. James's Gazette, 17 Sept. 1895, p. 5.
1895-09-17

Louch, Thomas
Louch, Thomas. "The Novels of George Eliot." Victorian Express, 19 Mar. 1887, p. 6.
1887-03-19
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