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
"George Eliot Memorial." Tamworth Herald, 14 Oct. 1950, p. 5.
1950-10-14

Williams, Blanche Colton
Williams, Blanche Colton. George Eliot: a Biography. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936
1936

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

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

Unknown
"George Eliot Letters Destroyed." Tamworth Herald, 4 Oct. 1924, p. 3.
1924-10-04

Unknown
"A Link with George Eliot." Tamworth Herald, 8 Sept. 1923, p. 6.
1923-09-08

Unknown
"A Link with George Eliot." Tamworth Herald, 8 Sept. 1923, p. 6.
1923-09-08

Meyers, F. W. H.
Meyers, F. W. H. "A Talk with George Eliot." Geelong Advertiser, 26 May 1923, p. 12.
1923-05-26

Unknown
"Nephew of George Eliot Celebrates His 80th Birthday." Tamworth Herald, 10 June 1922, p. 5.
1922-06-10

Walker, Mrs. Hugh
Walker, Mrs. Hugh. Stories of Victorian Writers. Cambridge at the University Press 1922, Pgs. 86-93.
1922

O'Connor, T. P.
O'Connor, T. P. "Men, Women and Memories." Sunday Times, 4 Sept. 1921, p. 7.
1921-09-04

Unknown
"George Eliot's Answer." Denver Jewish News, 31 Aug. 1921.
1921-08-31

Unknown
"Lynton and Lynmouth." North Devon Journal, 29 Jan. 1920, p. 8.
1920-29-01

Unknown
"A Niece of 'George Eliot.'" Tamworth Herald, 11 Sept. 1920, p. 3.
1920-09-11

Unknown
"A Niece of 'George Eliot.'" Tamworth Herald, 11 Sept. 1920, p. 3.
1920-09-11

Unknown
"Funeral of Nephew of ' George Eliot.'" Tamworth Herald, 20 Mar. 1920, p. 3.
1920-03-20

Unknown
"Funeral of Nephew of 'George Eliot.'" Tamworth Herald, 20 Mar. 1920, p. 3.
1920-03-20

Unknown
"A Link with 'Mr. Gilfil's Love Story.'" Tamworth Herald, 21 June 1924, p. 3.
192-06-21

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

Unknown
"News." Western Times, 5 Aug. 1919, p. 3.
1919-08-5

Unknown
"News." Western Times, 4 Aug. 1919, p. 4.
1919-08-04

Unknown
"George Eliot Centenary." Tamworth Herald, 2 Aug. 1919, p. 6.
1919-08-02

Unknown
"Fair Play for English Music." Times, 26 Jul. 1919, p. 15.
1919-07-26

Betham-Edwards, Matilda
Macmillan, 1919.
1919

Unknown
"Adam Bede's Cottage." Hull Daily Mail, 9 Oct. 1918, p. 3.
1918-10-09

Fairfax, Beatrice
Fairfax, Beatrice. "Love the Mighty Necromancy." El Paso Herald, 20 Apr. 1918.
1918-04-20

Unknown
"Social Record." Hull Daily Mail, 12 July 1917, p. 2.
1917-07-12

Sims, George R.
Sims, George R. "The 'Grove of the Evangelist.'" Evening News, 14 May 1917, p. 2.
1917-05-14

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

Unknown
"Memorial to George Eliot." Maryland Gazette, 12 Jun. 1916.
1916-06-12

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

White, William Hale (pen name: "Mark Rutherford")
White, William Hale. "George Eliot as I Knew Her." Last Pages from a Journal. Oxford University Press, 1915.
1915

Unknown
"Lewes and George Eliot." Daily Independent, 15 Aug. 1913.
1913-08-15

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

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

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

Unknown
"News." Western Times, 14 May 1912, p. 5.
1912-05-14

Unknown
"Man, Woman, and the Vote." Hull Daily Mail, 29 Mar. 1912, p. 4.
1912-03-29

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

Unknown
"Weekly Diary." Hull Daily Mail, 16 Dec. 1910, p. 2.
1910-12-16

Lehman, R. C.
Lehman, R. C. "An Impression of George Eliot." Armidale Express and New Engand General Advertiser, 3 Dec. 1909, p. 6.
1909-12-03

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

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

Stuart, Roland
Stuart, Roland. Letters from George Eliot to Elma Stuart. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, & CO., LTD. 1909
1909

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

Unknown
"Nuneaton's New Dignity." Tamworth Herald, 5 Oct. 1907, p. 8.
1907-10-05

Unknown
"Bookseller's Reminiscences." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 14 June 1907, p. 2.
1907-06-14

Unknown
"A George Eliot Memorial." Tamworth Herald, 8 Jun. 1907, p. 2.
1907-06-08

Unknown
"News." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 31 May 1907, p. 3.
1907-05-31
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