Contemporaries on George Eliot's Life

An understanding of how George Eliot’s contemporaries were reading and responding to her life and 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 chapters in collective biographies, to complete, book-length biographies.

Most significant is the 1885 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. In our Correspondence section, every one of the 894 letters Cross collected is sortable and searchable.

When she died after a brief illness at the age of sixty-one, George Eliot was one of England's most famous literary celebrities. Obituary notices are well represented in this collection, including several later tributes written by famous authors whose own work was influenced by Eliot’s, including Henry James and Virginia Woolf. 

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.

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

Filomeno. "A Lady's Letter on Current Topics." Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle, 1 Dec. 1883, p. 11.

Freeman, Edward A
Freeman, Edward A. "Anthony Trollope's People." Milwaukee Sentinel, 29 Jan. 1883, p. 3.

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

G. A. S.
G. A. S. "Echoes of the Week." Illustrated London News, 8 Jan. 1881, p. 27.

Galatea. "Four Famous Women." Inter Ocean, 9 Jul. 1875, p. 2.

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

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

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

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

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

Hamilton, C. J.
Hamilton, C. J. "George Eliot (Mary Anne Cross)." Women Writers: Their Works and Ways, vol 2, London, Ward, Lock, Bowden & Co, 1892, pp. 216-253.

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)

Humphrey, Frances A.
Humphrey, Frances A. "Literary and Miscellaneous Extracts." Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury, 1 Sept. 1888.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Krout, Mary H
Krout, Mary H. "Fresh London Notes." Daily Inter Ocean, 21 Nov. 1895, p. 10.

L. C.
L. C. "Marian Evans and G. H. Lewes." Cornishman, 26 Mar. 1885, p. 4.

L. N. F.
L. N. F. "George Eliot's Land." New York Tribune, 5 Jan. 1907, pp. 4-5.

Lehman, R. C.
Lehman, R. C. "An Impression of George Eliot." Armidale Express and New Engand General Advertiser, 3 Dec. 1909, p. 6.

Leigh. "Chicago Letter." Fort Worth Daily Gazette, 30 Jun. 1884, p. 7.

Lewes, G. H.
Lewes, G. H. "George Eliot." Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, 16 Mar. 1877.

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

Linton, Eliza Lynn
Hodder and Stoughton, 1899.

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

Locker-Lampson, Frederick
Locker-Lampson, Frederick. "A Portrait of George Eliot." Bendigo Advertiser, 6 Jun. 1896, p. 6.

Logan, Olive
Logan, Olive. "A Near View of George Eliot." Daily Inter Ocean, 13 Oct. 1879, p. 7.

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

Meyers, F. W. H.
Meyers, F. W. H. "A Talk with George Eliot." Geelong Advertiser, 26 May 1923, p. 12.

Morley, John
Morley, John. "The Life of George Eliot." Macmillan's Magazine, Vol. 51, 1884, Pgs. 241-256.

Morley, John
Morley, John. "The Life of George Eliot." Critical Micellanies. London, Macmillan and Co., 1904.

Muriel. "The Victorian Exhibition." Newcastle Courant, 12 Dec. 1891, p. 5.

Myers, F. W. H.
Myers, F. W. H. Modern Essays, London: Macmillan and Co. 1885, Pgs. 251-275

Newdigate-Newdiate, Anne Emily Garnier
Newdigate-Newdigate, Anne Emily Garnier. The Cheverels of Cheverel Manor. London, Longmans, Green, and co., 1898.

O'Connor, T. P.
O'Connor, T. P. "Men, Women and Memories." Sunday Times, 4 Sept. 1921, p. 7.

Oliphant, Margaret
Oliphant, Margaret. "The Life and Letters of George Eliot." Edinburgh Review, Apr. 1885, vol. 161, pp. 514–553.
1885-04 (Apr)

Parton, James
Parton, James. Eminent Women. Copyright, 1890, by Hubbard Brothers, Pgs. 91-112.

Parton, James
Parton, James. Noted Women of Europe and America. Copyrighted, 1883, by the Phoenix Publishing Company, Hartford, Conn., Pgs. 91-112.

Peirce, Z. F.
Peirce, Z. F. "George Eliot." Boston Daily Advertiser, 27 Jan. 1877.

Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart
Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart. “Last Words from George Eliot.” Harper’s Magazine 66, Mar. 1883, pp. 568-71.

Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart
Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart. "Poetry." Leicester Chronicle, 26 Feb. 1881.

Reid, T. Wemyss
Reid, T. Wemyss. "'George Eliot.'" Standard, 29 Dec. 1880, p. 2.

Roberton, John M.
Roberton, John M. George Eliot, Moralist and Thinker. Edinburgh: W. Brown, 1884.
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