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.
"George Eliot: The Literature of Power and Cup of Strength." Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Jane Austin.
Bonnell, Henry H. (Henry Houston). Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Jane Austen: Studies In Their Works. New York [etc.]: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902.
The Personal Edition of George Eliot's Works: Poems, Essays, and Leaves from a Note Book, Edited by Esther Wood
George Eliot in Derbyshire: A Volume of Gossip About Passages and People in the Novels of George Eliot
Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 11 September 1879, p. 3.
Introduction, The Personal Edition of George Eliot's Works: Poems, Essays, and Leaves from a Note Book
Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), 25 March 1876, p. 12.