Contemporaries on George Eliot's Works

An understanding of how George Eliot’s contemporaries were reading and responding to her published works helps us appreciate her reach, her fame, and her historical significance.

In this section, you will find commentary on Eliot's works published in periodicals during and shortly beyond her lifetime.

The George Eliot Archive offers far more reviews and commentary on Eliot's works than any print volume. As a digital scholarly edition, we are able to continuously expand as new items are identified. We have relied on the work of editors of printed collections as our starting point and continued to build our collection well beyond what has been available. Our digital edition more than quadruples the number of previously collected reviews of Middlemarch, facilitating new avenues of inquiry into the novel's early reception.

We also have an extensive collection of articles reporting on and summarizing lectures presented on George Eliot’s works and on her literary influence within and outside of England. As these documents demonstrate, Eliot's writing garnered widespread acclaim from professional critics and common citizens alike, who generally praised the creativity, wit, complex characters, and the moral philosophy incorporated into her writings.


If you are unable to locate a specific review or article about Eliot's works in this section, please let us know. We'll find it, upload it, and send you the link. 


Unknown
"The Poem of Life." Daily Picayune, 28 Dec. 1890, p. 12.
1890-12-28

Unknown
"The Periodicals-July." The Nonconformist, 11 July 1860, p. 557.
1860-07-11

Unknown
"The Old Fiction: Some Facts about Adam Bede." Westminster Budget, 19 April 1895, p. 13.
1895-04-19

Louch, Thomas
Louch, Thomas. "The Novels of George Eliot." Victorian Express, 19 Mar. 1887, p. 6.
1887-03-19

James, Henry
Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 1866, vol. 18, pp. 479–492.
1866-10 (Oct)

Swinburne, Algernon
Swinburne, Algernon. Fortnightly Review, Vol. 58, Pgs. 830-833
1892

Henry, Maria Louise
Henry, Maria Louise. “The Morality of Thackeray and George Eliot.” Atlantic Monthly 51, Feb. 1883, pp. 243-248.
1882-02(Feb)

Wedgwood, Julia
The Contemporary Review, 1 Jan. 1881, pp. 173–185.
1881-01 (Jan)

Stephen, Leslie
Stephen, Leslie. "The Moral Element in English Literature." Cornhill Magazine, Jan. 1881, pp. 34–50.
1881-01 (Jan)

Unknown
"[A Review of] The Mill and the Floss." Illustrated Times, 2 Jun. 1860, p. 345.
1860-06-02

Athenaeum, 7 April 1860, pp. 467-68
1860-04-07

British Controversialist and Literary Magazine, 1860, pp. 412-16
1860

The Saturday Review, 7 April 1860, pp. 471-2
1860-04-14

The Spectator, 7 Apr. 1860, pp. 330-331
1860-04-07

Dallas, E. S.
The Times, 19 May 1860, p. 10.
1860-05-19

Collins, Rev. W. Lucas
Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 87, May 1860, pp. 611–623.
1860-05 (May)

[Hutton, R. H.]
"The Melancholy of 'Middlemarch.'" The Spectator, 1 June 1872, pp.685-687.
1872-06-01

Unknown
"The Manuscripts of George Eliot's Works." Pall Mall Gazette, 14 Aug. 1891, p. 3.
1891-08-14

Unknown
"The Magazines for May." Berrows Worcester Journal, 8 May 1869, p. 6.
1869-05-08

Unknown
"The Literary Lounger: The Magazines." Illustrated Times, 22 Jun. 1867, p. 395.
1867-06-22

Unknown
"The Literary Examiner." Examiner, 7 Jul 1866.
1866-07-07

Unknown
"The Literary Examiner." Examiner, 16 Jun. 1860.
1860-06-16

Unknown
"The Literary Competition." Aberdeen Journal, 17 Feb. 1897, p. 2.
1897-02-17

Unknown
"The Legend of Jubal." London Daily News, 5 May 1870, p. 5.
1870-05-05

Unknown
"The Late George Eliot and Wirksworth." Derbyshire Times, 8 Jan. 1881, p. 3.
1881-01-08

Unknown
"The Influence of George Eliot's Later Novels." Guardian, 3 Jun. 1896, p. 867.
1896-06-03

Author Unknown [M. E. C.]
[M. E. C.] "The Influence of George Eliot's Early Novels." The Guardian, 27 May 1896, p. 830.
1896-05-27

Unknown
"The Impressions of Theophrastus Such." London Echo, 21 Aug. 1879, p. 4.
1879-08-21

Unknown
"The Humour of George Eliot." Blackburn Weekly Standard and Express, 27 May 1899, p. 9.
1899-05-27

Hutton, R. H.
The Spectator, 10 June 1876.
1876-06-10

Johnson, R. Brimley
Johnson, R. Brimley. The Great Four. London [etc.] W. Collins sons & co., ltd. 1918, Pgs. 226-244.
1918

Westminster Review, vol. 65, Jan. 1884, pp. 151-62
1884-01 (Jan)

Unknown
"The French George Eliot." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 10 Jan. 1902, p. 4.
1902-01-10

Unknown
"The Feminine Peril in Fiction." Glasgow Herald, 29 Apr. 1899, p. 9.
1899-04-29

Sheppard, Nathan
Sheppard, Nathan. The Essays of George Eliot. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Publishers, 1883
1883

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

Brock, Ashford
Brock, Ashford. "The Bookmarker." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 17 Apr. 1914, p. 9.
1914-04-17

Author Unknown [R. W. L.]
[R. W. L.] "The Book World: Women Novelist of To-Day." Black And White, 01 Oct. 1904, p. 484.
1904-10-01

Unknown
"The Book of the Month." Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, 1 May 1860, p. 44-47.
1860-05-01

Unknown
"The Best Novels." Aberdeen Journal, 30 Apr. 1887, p. 8.
1887-04-30

Tomlinson, May
Tomlinson, May. “The Beginning of George Eliot’s Art: A Study of Scenes of Clerical Life.” Sewanee Review 27, July 1919, pp. 320-329.
1919-07(July)

White, William Hale
Rutherford, Mark. The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford. Edited by Reuben Shapcott, 11th ed., T. Fisher Unwin, 1884.
1884

Unknown
"The Authorship of 'Adam Bede.'" Birmingham Daily Post, 3 Feb. 1885, p. 4.
1885-02-03

Unknown
"The Art of George Eliot." Birmingham Daily Post, 13 Oct. 1885, p. 7.
1885-10-13

Unknown
"The 'Globe' and the 'Daily News.'" Huddersfield Chronicle, 12 Oct. 1887, p. 4.
1887-10-12

Unknown
"Summary of News." Nottinghamshire Guardian, 20 June 1873, p. 4-5.
1873-06-20

Harrison, Frederic
Harrison, Frederic. Studies in Victorian Literature. Edward Arnold, copyright 1895, Pgs. 205-224.
1895

Unknown
"Standard Liberal Works, For Sale at the Investigator Office." Boston Investigator, 10 Dec. 1856.
1856-12-10

Unknown
"St. Paul's Literary Society: Miss Serrell's Paper." Mercury and Observer, 20 Oct. 1900, p. 5.
1900-10-20

Unknown
"Some 'New' Humourists." Independent and Nonconformists, 14 Nov. 1895, p. 381.
1895-11-14
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