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
"Books of the Day." The Standard, 18 May 1900, p. 4.
1900-05-18

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

Unknown
"Brilliants from Boston." St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 19 Mar. 1883, p. 3.
1883-03-19

Unknown
"Broughty Ferry." Dundee Courier and Argus, 25 Feb. 1873.
1873-02-25

Unknown
"By and of 'George Eliot.'" Rocky Mountain News, 1 Mar. 1885, p. 9.
1885-03-01

Unknown
"Cambridge University Local Letters." Cornishman, 22 Nov. 1906, p. 2.
1906-11-22

Unknown
"Celebrated Authoresses." Illustrated Household Journal and Englishman's Domestic Magazine, 1 Feb. 1881, pp. 84-87
1881-02-01

"Charles Bray on George Eliot.". The Critic, Vol. 5, 1885, Pgs. 56-57.
1885

Unknown
"Charles Dickens and George Eliot." Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 2 Jan. 1881, p. 3.
1881-01-02

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"Charles Sumner." Daily Evening Bulletin, 1 May 1873.
1873-05-01

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"Cheverel Manor." Tamworth Herald, 13 Aug. 1904, p. 3.
1904-08-13

Unknown
"Cheverel Manor." Tamworth Herald, 6 Jan. 1906, p. 7.
1906-01-06

Unknown
"'Cheverel Manor." Tamworth Herald, 13 Aug. 1904, p. 3.
1904-08-13

Leigh
Leigh. "Chicago Letter." Fort Worth Daily Gazette, 30 Jun. 1884, p. 7.
1884-06-30

Unknown
"Clergymen of the Old School." Star, 8 Jan. 1881.
1881-01-08

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"Correction." Boston Investigator, 2 May 1883, p. 5.
1883-05-02

Unknown
"Current Literature." Daily Evening Bulletin, 7 Mar. 1885.
1885-03-07

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

Unknown
"Cuttings From 'Punch.'" Huddersfield Chronicle, 6 May 1893, p. 3.
1893-05-06

Unknown
"Days of the Week." Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, 20 Dec. 1896, p. 8.
1896-12-20

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

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

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 7.
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
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Derby Mercury, 29 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-29

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Mount Alexander Mail, 28 Dec. 1880.
1880-12-28

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

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

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 4.
1880-12-24

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

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Daily Inter Ocean, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 4.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 4.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Northampton Mercury, 1 Jan. 1881, p. 2.
1881-01-01

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Frank Leslie's Ilustrated Newspaper, 8 Jan 1881, p. 315.
1881-01-08

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Cornishman, 30 Dec. 1880, p. 6.
1880-12-30

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 4.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Bristol Mercury, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 2.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Northampton Mercury, 1 Jan. 1881, p. 2.
1881-01-01

Unknown
"Death of 'George Eliot.'" Birmingham Daily Post, 24 Dec. 1880, p. 8.
1880-12-24

Unknown
"Death of a Friend of George Eliot." Glasgow Herald, 8 Mar. 1899.
1899-03-08

Unknown
"Death of Anthony Trollope." Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 7 Dec. 1882, p. 2.
1882-12-07
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