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
"The Late 'George Eliot.'" Illustrated London News, 8 Jan. 1881, p. 37-38.
1881-01-08

Unknown
"The Late 'George Eliot.'" Week, 19 Feb. 1881, p. 9-10.
1881-02-19

Unknown
"The Late 'George Eliot.'" Northern Warder and Bi-weekly Courier and Argus, 28 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-28

Unknown
"The Late 'George Eliot.'" Dundee Courier and Argus, 29 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-29

Unknown
"The Late 'George Eliot.'" Dundee Courier and Argus, 27 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-27

Unknown
"The Late 'George Eliot.'" Western Times, 28 Dec. 1880, p. 7.
1880-12-28

Unknown
"The Late 'George Eliot.'" Glasgow Herald, 28 Dec. 1880, p. 2.
1880-12-28

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

Wakeman, Edgar L
Wakeman, Edgar L. "The Home of George Eliot." Delaware Gazette and State Journal, 12 May 1892.
1892-05-12

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

Unknown
"The Funeral of Mrs. Cross." Chicago Daily Tribune, 30 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-30

Unknown
"The Funeral of 'George Eliot.'" Tamworth Herald, 1 Jan. 1881, p. 8.
1881-01-01

Unknown
"The Funeral of 'George Eliot.'" Berrows Worcester Journal, 1 Jan. 1881, p. 7.
1881-01-01

Unknown
"The Funeral of 'George Eliot.'" Birmingham Daily Post, 30 Dec. 1880, p. 7.
1880-12-30

Unknown
"The Family of 'George Eliot.'" Leeds Mercury, 1 June 1895, p. 4.
1895-06-01

Unknown
"The Evolution of the Novel." Birmingham Daily Post, 24 Sept. 1895, p. 5.
1895-09-24

W.
W. "The Ethics of Gambling." Standard, 18 Jan. 1889, p. 3.
1889-01-18

Unknown
"The Encyclopedia Britannica: The Third New Volume." Standard, 11 Jul. 1902, p. 4.
1902-07-11

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

Unknown
"The Death of George Eliot." Chicago Daily Tribune, 24 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-24

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

Unknown
"The Dead Philosopher." Yorkshire Evening Post, 9 Dec. 1903, p. 4.
1903-12-09

Unknown
"The County Council." Standard, 20 Jul. 1904, p. 8.
1904-07-20

F. H. A.
F. H. A. "The Country of George Eliot." Tamworth Herald, 15 Oct. 1904, p. 2.
1904-10-15

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

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

Unknown
"The Brontes." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 5 Nov. 1901, p. 4.
1901-11-05

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

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

Unknown
"The Biographer: George Eliot." Australasian, 27 May 1876, p. 680.
1876-05-27

Unknown
"The Authorship of Adam Bede." Times, 6 Jun. 1859, p. 10.
1859-06-06

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

Unknown
"Temperance at St. Leonards." Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, 22 Dec. 1900, p. 2.
1900-12-22

Unknown
"Tattle from 'Truth.'" Sheffield Evening Telegraph and Star, 22 Aug. 1888, p. 4.
1888-08-22

Unknown
"Sutton Coldfield." Tamworth Herald, 4 Mar. 1905, p. 6.
1905-03-14

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

Unknown
"Steinway Hall." Morning Post, 8 Oct. 1894, p. 3.
1894-10-08

White, R. G.
White, R. G. "Something on George Eliot's Personal Apperance" Burlington Weekly Free Press, 8 Aug 1873, p. 1.
1873-08-08

Unknown
"Some Recollections of George Eliot." Leeds Mercury, 10 Jan. 1885, p. 6.
1885-01-10

Unknown
"Some Recollections of George Eliot." Leeds Mercury, 6 Jan. 1885, p. 8.
1885-01-06

"Some Recollections of George Eliot." Pall Mall Gazette, 5 Jan. 1885. p. 11.
1885-01-05

Unknown
"Some Past Authoresses." Newcastle Courant, 31 Aug. 1895, p. 6.
1895-08-31

Unknown
"Some Famous Authors." Blackburn Standard, 22 July 1899, p. 9.
1899-07-22

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

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

Unknown
"Shipping Intelligence." Lancaster Gazette, 25 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-25

Chadwick, R.
Chadwick, R. "Shepperton Church." Standard, 5 Aug. 1889, p. 6.
1889-08-05

Chadwick, R.
Chadwick, R. "Shepperton Church." Standard, 29 July 1889, p. 3.
1889-07-29

Unknown
"Saturday Evening Free Lectures." Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury, 15 Nov. 1890, p. 2.
1890-11-15
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