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. 


"Middlemarch.---Book IV." Examiner, 8 Jun 1872, p. 575-6.

"Middlemarch.---Book VI." Examiner, 5 Oct 1872, p. 985-6.

Jacobs, Joseph. "Mordecai: A Protest Against the Critics by a Jew." Macmillan's Magazine, June 1877, pp. 101–111.

"Moreton-In-Marsh." Jackson's Oxford Journal, 11 Nov. 1899, p. 3.

"Mortimer Collins and George Eliot." Berrow's Worcester Journal, 15 July 1876, p. 6.

Dickens, Charles. "Mr. Charles Dickens and George Eliot." Morning Post, 1 Jan. 1881, p. 2.

Dickens, Charles. "Mr. Charles Dickens and George Eliot." Star; Guernsey, 13 Jan. 1881.

"Mr. G. W. E. Russell, M P., on the 'Genius of George Eliot.'" Bucks Herald, 14 Jan. 1882, p. 5.

"Mr. Herbert Spencer's Autobiography." Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 31 Mar. 1904, p. 9.

"Mr. Noble on 'George Eliot.'" Huddersfield Chronicle, 7 Dec. 1881, p. 4.

"Mr. Noble on 'George Eliot.'" Huddersfield Chronicle, 10 Dec. 1881, p. 7.

Ruskin, John. "Mr. Ruskin on George Eliot." Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), 3 February 1891.

"Mr. Swinburne on Charlotte Bronte." Nonconformist, 29 Aug. 1877, p. 879.

"Mr. Swinburne's New Volume." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 29 Aug. 1877, p. 3.

"Mrs. Fawcett on Novels." Freeman's Journal, 11 Dec. 1874, p. 7.

"Multiple Classified Advertisements." Boston Investigator, 28 Feb. 1855.

"Multiple Classified Advertisements." Boston Investigator, 3 Jan. 1855.

"Multiple News Items." Standard, 24 June 1895, p. 3.

"Multiple News Items." Dundee Courier and Argus, 28 Feb. 1870.

"Multiple News Items." Penny Illustrated Paper, 14 Oct. 1871, p. 227.

"Museum and Library." Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 23 Jan. 1890, p. 3.

"New Books and New Editions." St. James's Gazette, 21 Feb. 1888, p. 7.

"New Books and New Editions." Pall Mall Gazette, 5 Aug. 1879, p. 12.

"New Books of Yesterday." Glasgow Herald, 11 Dec. 1895, p. 10.

"New Novels." The Athenaeum, 6 April 1861, pp. 464-465.

"News." Northampton Mercury, 8 Oct. 1887, p. 5.

"News." Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, 6 May 1893, p. 2.

"News." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18 Nov. 1864, p. 2.

"News." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18 Oct. 1913, p. 6.

"News." Northampton Mercury, 28 Feb. 1885, p. 2.

"News." Portsmouth Evening News, 20 Sept. 1881, p. 2.

"News." Dundee Courier and Argus, 28 July 1874.

"News." Western Times, 31 Mar. 1874, p. 6.

"News." Dundee Courier and Argus, 21 Apr. 1868.

"News." Sheffield Evening Telegraph, 6 Apr. 1888, p. 2.

"News." Northampton Mercury, 3 May 1901, p. 8.

"News." Tamworth Herald, 25 Jan. 1873, p. 3.

G.W. S. "News Item." New York Tribune, 26 Jul. 1875.

"No Great Poet." Western Times, 24 Oct. 1905, p. 3.

"Nodion O'R Brifddinas." Y Goleuad, 30 Apr. 1887, p. 12.

"Notes." Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 30 Jan. 1896, p. 7.

"Notes." Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 10 July 1895, p. 8.

"Notes by the Way." Derbyshire Times, 24 Dec. 1887, p. 5.

"Notes From the Athenæum." Glasgow Herald, 18 Sept. 1875, p. 7.

"Notices of New Publications." New York Herald, 21 Feb. 1858, p. 1.

"Nuneaton and the Memory of 'George Eliot.'" Tamworth Herald, 27 Dec. 1913, p. 6.

"Old Novels and New." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 31 Oct. 1902, p. 6.

S. P. "On George Eliot's 'Armgart.'" Nottinghamshire Guardian, 9 Oct. 1874, p. 6.

"Our Evening Hymns." Northampton Mercury, 15 May 1886, p. 6.

Penelope. "Our Ladies' Column." Northampton Mercury, 16 Apr. 1881, p. 8.

"Our Library Table." North Wales Chronicle, 14 July 1866, p. 2.

"Our London Letter." Bristol Times and Mirror, 8 Sept. 1897, p. 8.

"Our Royal Jubilee and Scripture Prophecy." Northampton Mercury, 23 Apr. 1887, p. 9.

"Pendeen." Cornishman, 24 Jan. 1923, p. 3.

"Personal and Society Gossip." Sheffield Independent, 23 Jan. 1879, p. 6.

"'Place and Power.'" Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 13 Sept. 1903, p. 6.

https://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433076086416

"Portsmouth Literary and Scientific Society." Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle, 2 Apr. 1881, p. 6.

"Prince of Wales Theatre." Birmingham Daily Post, 2 Mar. 1886, p. 8.

"Profits of Authorship." Freeman's Journal, 30 Apr. 1883, p. 6.

"Publications Received." Morning Post, 8 Jan. 1898, p. 6.

"Rayleigh." Essex Newsman, 19 Dec. 1891, p. 4.

Lucas, Samuel. "Recent Novels - Scenes of Clerical Life and White Lies." The Times, 2 Jan. 1858, p. 9.

"Recognition of the Rev. J. Spanswick at Longford." Northampton Mercury, 14 Sept. 1889, p. 6.

"Religious Services." Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 5 Dec. 1887, p. 3.

James, Henry. Review of the Spanish Gypsy. Nation, Vol. 7, 1868, Pgs. 12-14

"Reviews." Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 12 June 1879, p. 8.

"Reviews: A New Work on George Eliot." Derby Mercury, 19 Dec. 1883, p. 6.

"Reviews: George Eliot as an Essayist." Derby Mercury, 27 Feb. 1884, p. 6.

"Romola [A Review]." Athenaeum, 11 July 1863, p. 46.

"Romola [A Review]." Westminster Review, October 1863, pp. 344-52

"Romola: George Eliot's Novel Filmed." Age, 16 July 1927, p. 16.

"Romola: Theatre Royal Attraction-- George Eliot's Novel." Newcastle Sun, 11 December 1926, p. 2.

Tomlinson, May. “Rosamond and Lydgate.” South Atlantic Quarterly 17, 1918, pp. 320-29.

"Sale of Autograph Letters." Morning Post, 18 July 1898, p. 7.

"Saturday's New Books." Standard, 17 June 1895, p. 3.

"Saturday's New Books." Standard, 24 June 1895, p. 3.

Eliot, George. "Sayings From George Eliot." Zeehan and Dundas Herald, 16 June 1915, p. 4.

Eliot, George. "Sayings From George Eliot." Daily Herald, 7 August 1915, p. 10.

Eliot, George. "Sayings From George Eliot." Australian Worker, 10 June 1915, p. 19.

Eliot, George. "Sayings of George Eliot." Maitland Daily Mercury, 17 September 1898, p. 5.

Eliot, George. "Sayings of George Eliot." Herald, 28 March 1881, p. 3.

Seguin, Lisbeth Gooch. Scenes and Characters from the Works of George Eliot. A. Strahan, 1888.

Parkinson, S. Scenes From the "George Eliot" Country. Leeds, R. Jackson, 1888.

"Scenes of Clerical Life." Hull Daily Mail, 8 Sept. 1897, p. 5.

"Scenes of Clerical Life / Adam Bede." British Controversialist and Literary Magazine, 1859, pp. 268-73.

"Screen Jottings." Hull Daily Mail, 11 May 1917, p. 5.

"Shepperton Church." Birmingham Daily Post, 3 Aug. 1889, p. 4.

Chadwick, R. "Shepperton Church." Standard, 31 July 1889, p. 3.

"Sidelights on George Eliot." Daily Telegraph, 24 June 1911, p. 6.

The Times, 29 Apr. 1861, p. 12.

"Silas Marner [A Review]." The Saturday Review, 13 April 1861, pp. 369-70

"Sir Theodore Martinon Books." Bury and Norwich Post and Suffolk Standard, 11 Oct. 1887, p. 3.

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

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

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

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

Collins, John Churchton. Studies in Poetry and Criticism. London, G. Bell and Sons, 1905.

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

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

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

Sully, James. "The Art of George Eliot." Mind, Vol. 6, No. 23, July 1881, pp. 378-394.

Fairley, Edwin. "The Art of George Eliot in 'Silas Marner'." The English Journal, Apr 1913, vol 2, no 4, pp. 221-30.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"The Future of Single Women." Westminster Review, vol. 65, Jan. 1884, pp. 151-62

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

Hutton, R. H. "The Hero of Daniel Deronda." The Spectator, 10 June 1876.

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

"The Humour of Middlemarch." Spectator, 14 December 1872, pp. 1582-1583

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

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

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

"The Last Number of the Quarterly Review has a Review of the Novels of 'George Eliot.'" Daily Evening Bulletin, 17 Dec. 1860.

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

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

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

"The Literary Examiner." Examiner, 7 Jul 1866.

"The Literary Examiner." Examiner, 16 Jun. 1860.

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

"The Magazines for May." Berrows Worcester Journal, 8 May 1869, p. 6.

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

"The Melancholy of 'Middlemarch.'" The Spectator, 1 June 1872, pp.685-687.

Collins, Rev. W. Lucas. "The Mill on the Floss." Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 87, May 1860, pp. 611–623.

Dallas, E. S. "The Mill on the Floss [A Review]." The Times, 19 May 1860, p. 10.

"The Mill on the Floss [A Review]." The Spectator, 7 Apr. 1860, pp. 330-331

"The Mill on the Floss [A Review]." The Saturday Review, 7 April 1860, pp. 471-2

"The Mill on the Floss [A Review]." British Controversialist and Literary Magazine, 1860, pp. 412-16

"The Mill on the Floss [A Review]." Athenaeum, 7 April 1860, pp. 467-68.

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

"[Review of the] Mill on the Floss." Economist, 12 May 1860, p. 509-511.

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

Wedgwood, Julia. The Moral Influence of George Eliot. The Contemporary Review, 1 Jan. 1881, pp. 173–185.

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

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

James, Henry. "The Novels of George Eliot." Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 1866, vol. 18, pp. 479–492.

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

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

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

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

Block, Louis James. "The Poetry of George Eliot." The Sewanee Review, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan 1918, pp. 85-91.

"The Popularity-monger." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 25 June 1904, p. 2.

"The Prince Consort As a Novel Reader." Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 2 May 1879, p. 3.

"The Reader." Graphic, 28 July 1883, p. 99.

Courthorpe, W. J. "The Reflection of English Character in English Art." The Quarterly Review, vol. 147, Jan. 1879, pp. 81–112.

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"The Religious Teachings of George Eliot." Daily Telegraph, 7 January 1884, p. 6.

"The Rev. H. J. R. Marston on Goldsmith." Berrow's Worcester Journal, 24 May 1884, p. 7.

"The Reviewer: George Eliot's Forthcoming Novel."
Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), 25 March 1876, p. 12.

"The Spanish Gypsy." Chicago Tribune, 22 Jul. 1868.

"The Spanish Gypsy." Chicago Tribune, 14 Jun. 1868.

"[A Review of] The Spanish Gypsy, a Poem." Guardian, 24 Jun. 1868, p. 720.

"[A Review of] The Spanish Gypsy, A Poem." London Express, 30 May 1868, p. 1.

"The Story of a Remarkable Literary Imposture." Western Mail, 3 Feb. 1885, p. 4.

Hutton, R. H. "The Strong Side of Daniel Deronda." The Spectator, 29 July 1876.

Davidson, Hannah Amelia. The Study of Romola. Study Guide Series, 1897.

"The Sunderland Equitable Industrial Society's Library." Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 21 Oct. 1884, p. 3.

Mottram, William. The True Story of George Eliot In Relation to "Adam Bede": Giving the Real Life History of the More Prominent Characters. American ed. Chicago: McClurg, 1906.

Hammond, Eleanor P. "The Use of Episode in the Teaching of Fiction." Modern Language Notes, vol. 17, no. 2. Feb 1902, pp. 33-36.

Westminster Review, vol. 125, Jan. 1886, pp. 207–222.

"The Work of George Eliot." Australasian, 1 Jan. 1881, p. 8.

"The Work of George Eliot." Australasian, 1 January 1881, p. 8.

"Theophrastus Such." Chicago Daily Tribune, 21 Jun. 1879.

"Theophrastus Such." Pall Mall Gazette, 2 July 1879, p. 12.

"Theophrastus Such." Standard, 17 June 1879, p. 2.

"Thoughts for Quiet Moments." Hull Daily Mail, 9 Jan. 1909, p. 2.

"Thoughts for Quiet Moments." Hull Daily Mail, 26 Sept. 1908, p. 5.

"Three Women Novelists." Westminster Budget, 6 Mar. 1903, p. 23.

"To Day's Books." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 12 July 1907, p. 10.

"To-day's Books." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18 Nov. 1907, p. 3.

"To-day's Books." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 9 Mar. 1909, p. 9.

Eliot, George, 1819-1880. "Transatlantic Latter-Day Poetry." The Leader, vol. 7, 7 June 1856, pp. 547-48.

"Two Books of Criticism." Pall Mall Gazette, 8 Dec. 1891, p. 3.

"Varieties." Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 19 June 1868, p. 3.

"Victorian Novelists." St. James's Gazette, 27 Jan. 1900, p. 12.

Brownell, W. C. "George Eliot." Victorian Prose Masters; Thackeray - Carlyle - George Eliot - Mathew Arnold - Ruskin - George Meredith. New York, Charles Scribner's Son, 1901, pp. 99-145.

Kebbel, T. E. "Village Life of George Eliot." Fraser's Magazine, Feb. 1881, pp. 263–276.

"Wanamaker's." Daily Republican, 24 Nov. 1885.

"Wickham Bishops." Essex Chronicle, 5 Dec. 1930, p. 12.

"Wilnecote." Tamworth Herald, 10 Mar. 1923, p. 5.

"Wisdom About Women." Hull Daily Mail, 27 Dec. 1910, p. 8.

Main, Alexander. Wise, Witty and Tender Sayings in Prose and Verse, selected from the Works of George Eliot, Edinburgh & London: Blackwood, 1872

"Wit and Humour." Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 14 Feb. 1891, p. 2.

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"Withernsea." Hull Daily Mail, 5 Nov. 1891, p. 4.

"Woman's and Lover's Calendars." Cornishman, 23 Dec. 1915, p. 2.

Smith, George Barnett. Women of Renown. Wyman and Sons, Limited, Printers, London and Redhill 1893, Pgs. 85-117.

"Women Who Shine." Dundee Courier and Argus, 8 Feb. 1897, p. 6.

Hamilton, C. J. Women Writers: Their Works and Ways Volume 1. London, Ward, Lock, Bowden and co., 1892-93.

Eliot, George. "Women: George Eliot." Worker, 23 May 1908, p. 10.

B. A. B. "Worth the Reading." Morning Oregonian, 6 Sept. 1896, p. 12.

"Yesterday's New Books." Standard, 25 Dec. 1895, p. 3.

"Yesterday's New Books." Standard, 14 Aug. 1895, p. 3.

"Yesterday's New Books." Standard, 11 Sept. 1895, p. 3.

"Yesterday's New Books." Standard, 23 Apr. 1895, p. 3.

"Yesterday's New Books." Standard, 15 Oct. 1895, p. 3.

"Yesterday's New Books." Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 27 May 1904, p. 3.

"Yesterday's New Books." Standard, 24 May 1895, p. 3.

"Yesterday's New Books." Standard, 9 Apr. 1895, p. 3.

"Yesterday's New Books." Standard, 29 Nov. 1895, p. 3.

"Yesterday’s Publications." Standard, 21 Apr. 1891, p. 3.