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Chronology

"Some days, perhaps, George Eliot will undergo the fate of Goethe. We shall know how she spent every week of her existence, and how far the scenes of her novels, even the most sensational, are records of her own trials and experience."

As prophesied by George Eliot's contemporary, Oscar Browning, the George Eliot Archive provides here two interactive chronology models where researchers can find details about George Eliot's life experience down to the level of the days. Much more comprehensive than any other chronology of Eliot's life, this model will serve biographers or anyone interested in the biographical context and experience of Eliot's writing.

This Chronology project began in collaboration with Timothy Hands, whose A George Eliot Chronology (1989) provides the foundational information, which we have updated and expanded with additional biographical information gleaned from Eliot’s letters and journals and transformed into this data visualization model. Editorial content and computer programming assistants worked together to bring these models to fruition.

There are over 3,000 lines of data here. For the first model, browse for day-level information by opening (clicking on) first the decade, then year, and then months and dates you wish to see. For the second model, which shows at a glance which dates contain data, simply hover over the colored squares to details.

In future iterations of the George Eliot Chronology, the 60,000-word text will be searchable and linked to referenced letters and journal entries.

Parenthetical citations: "Letters" refers to the George Eliot Letters, vols 1-9, edited by Gordon Haight (Yale UP, 1954-1978); "Cross" refers to George Eliot's Life as Related in her Journals and Letters (1885) by John Cross (George Eliot Archive, 2018); Journals refers to The Journals of George Eliot, edited by Margaret Harris and Judith Johnson (Cambridge UP, 1998).

Acknowledgements: The Archive thanks Timothy Hands for permission to adapt and transform his original work. Editorial assistants including Antje Anderson, Charlotte Fiehn, Tom Joudry, Brenda MacKay, Kathleen McCormack, Bob Muscutt, Beverley Rilett, and Aurora Wheeler, contributed content and revision suggestions to the chronology, while Shane Clegg, Riley Jhi, and Libo Sun all contributed to the programming, which we share on the George Eliot Archive's public GitHub account. Your suggestions are welcome at bdr0032@auburn.edu.