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.

Unknown
"A Platonic Marriage." Daily Globe, 4 Jan. 1879.
1879-01-04

Unknown
"Current Mention." Independent Statesman, 30 Jan. 1879.
1879-01-30

Unknown
"The Health of George Eliot." Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, 22 Apr. 1879, p. 3.
1879-04-22

Unknown
"News." Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 22 Apr. 1879, p. 3.
1879-04-22

Unknown
"Extraordinary Outrage on Cattle." Dundee Courier and Argus, 23 Apr. 1879.
1879-04-23

Downs, Annie Sawyer.
Downs, Annie Sawyer. "A Visit to George Eliot." Congregationalist, 28 May 1879, p. 3.
1879-05-28

Unknown
"George Eliot." Dodge City Times, 21 Jun. 1879.
1879-06-21

Unknown
"General and Personal." St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 5 Jul. 1879, p. 2.
1879-07-05

Unknown
"George Eliot's Career." Evening Star, 11 Oct. 1879.
1879-10-11

Logan, Olive
Logan, Olive. "A Near View of George Eliot." Daily Inter Ocean, 13 Oct. 1879, p. 7.
1879-10-13

Unknown
"Art, Literature, Music, &c." Royal Cornwall Gazette, 14 Nov. 1879, p. 6.
1879-11-14

Unknown
"American Fiction." Aberdeen Journal, 7 Jan. 1880, p. 2.
1880-01-07

Unknown
"General and Personal." St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 10 Jan. 1880, p. 4.
1880-01-10

Unknown
"The British Museum Library." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 31 Jan. 1880, p. 2.
1880-01-31

Unknown
"Art, Literature, Science, &C." Royal Cornwall Gazette, 27 Feb. 1880, p. 2.
1880-02-27

Unknown
"General News." Star; Guernsey, 11 May 1880.
1880-05-11

Unknown
"George Eliot's Marriage." Chicago Daily Tribune, 13 May 1880.
1880-05-13

Unknown
"George Eliot's Marriage." Dundee Courier and Argus, 17 May 1880.
1880-05-17

Unknown
"Multiple News Items." The Northern Warder and Bi-weekly Courier and Argus, 18 May 1880.
1880-05-18

Unknown
"George Eliot's Marriage." Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder, 18 May 1880.
1880-05-18

Unknown
"A Question of Affinities." Daily Inter Ocean, 22 May 1880, p. 9.
1880-05-22

Unknown
"London Gossip." Cornishman, 27 May 1880, p. 5.
1880-05-27

Unknown
"George Eliot: Her Recent Marriages." Chicago Daily Tribune, 3 Jun. 1880.
1880-06-03

Unknown
"A Correspondent Writes." Dundee Courier & Argus, 10 Jul. 1880.
1880-07-10

Unknown
"Local Intelligence." Northern Warder and Bi-weekly Courier and Argus, 13 July 1880, p. 2.
1880-07-13

Unknown
"Personal." Cornishman, 15 July 1880, p. 6.
1880-07-15

Unknown
"Death of George Eliot." Daily Evening Bulletin, 23 Dec. 1880, p. 2.
1880-12-23

Unknown
"Foreign Affairs." Daily Evening Bulletin, 23 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-23

Academy, vol. 18, 24 December 1880, p. 460
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" London Daily News, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 5.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries." Freeman's Journal, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 6.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Western Mail, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 3.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"The Death of 'George Eliot.'" Glasgow Herald, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 5.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 7.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Latest News." Chelmsford Chronicle, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 4.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Reported Death of a Novelist." Portsmouth Evening News, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 3.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Latest News." Royal Cornwall Gazette, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 5.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Dundee Courier, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 3.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Standard, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 3.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Multiple News Items." Dundee Courier and Argus, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"A Woman of Rare and Noble Endowments, A Great." Times, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 7.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Birmingham Daily Post, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Daily News, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Glasgow Herald, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 5.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Leeds Mercury, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24
Output Formats

atom, dcmes-xml, json, omeka-xml, rss2