Home > George Eliot's Writings

George Eliot's Writings

In this section, "George Eliot's Writings," visitors can read, search, and download any and all of the complete works of George Eliot, which are sub-divided into her fiction (novels and short stories), poetry, non-fiction reviews and essays, and the English translations of important Latin and German philosophical works.

Most of George Eliot's writings were published by William Blackwood and Sons in 1876 in a set known as the "Cabinet Edition," which is the standard source for citing passages. The Cabinet Edition, published two years before the author's death, represents her final revisions. 

Any essays and poems that were not included in the Cabinet Edition of George Eliot's complete works are reproduced here exactly as they appeared in the pages of the original publications.

John Cross's three-volume biography of George Eliot was published by Blackwood in 1885 and added to the Cabinet set; we have included those volumes in the "Commentary by Contemporaries" section. 

Fiction by George Eliot

George Eliot is best known for her fiction, acclaimed critically since its publication and still widely taught in Victorian Studies courses. Editions of Eliot’s novels are generally derived from the 1878 "Cabinet Edition" of George Eliot's Works, published in London and Edinburgh by William Blackwood and Sons. This complete collection, published two years before Eliot's death, represents the final corrected version of her works. Although many subsequent editions have been published, the Cabinet Edition is their foundation and this set remains the scholarly standard for citing Eliot’s words. 

  • Scenes of Clerical Life. (1858) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org. (Short stories, including “The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton,” “Mr Gilfil’s Love Story,” and “Janet’s Repentance.”)
  • Adam Bede. (1859) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.  (Novel)
  • The Lifted Veil. (1859) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org. (Novella)
  • The Mill on the Floss. (1860) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org. (Novel)
  • Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe. (1861) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org. (Novel)
  • Brother Jacob. (1864) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org. (Novella)
  • Romola. (1863) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org. (Novel)
  • Felix Holt, the Radical. (1866) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.  (Novel)
  • Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life. (1871-72) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.  (Novel)
  • Daniel Deronda. (1876) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.  (Novel)
  • Impressions of Theophrastus Such. (1878) Cabinet Edition, London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878. George Eliot Archive, ed. Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.  (Fictional essays)

Nonfiction by George Eliot

The most complete collection of George Eliot’s nonfiction is curated by the George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org. It includes all the essays published in earlier collections, including Essays and Leaves from a Note-Book. Edited by C. L. Lewes. (London & Edinburgh, William Blackwood & Sons, 1883), Essays of George Eliot. Edited by Thomas Pinney. (Columbia UP, 1963), Also Pinney’s “More Leaves from GE’s Notebook” Huntington Library Quarterly, 29 (1966), 353-76, and other George Eliot essays identified by scholars since Pinney and verified through the William Baker & John C. Ross’s George Eliot: A Bibliographical History (Oak Knoll Press, 2002) in addition to the Wellesley Index and the Curran Index of Periodicals.

All collections of Eliot’s nonfiction works include her most famous essay, “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists,” first published anonymously in Westminster Review in October 1856. Other frequently studied essays by George Eliot include “Evangelical Teachings: Dr. Cumming,” “The Natural History of German Life,” and “Worldliness and Other Worldliness: The Poet Young” in which she expresses philosophic principles that underpin her later works of fiction.

Poetry by George Eliot

The complete collection of George Eliot’s poetry online can be found on the George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org, which includes all original publications of her works, including her earliest published work, “Knowing that Shortly I Must Put Off this Tabernacle,” published in the 1840 edition of The Christian Observer. It includes all poems published individually during her lifetime, including The Spanish Gypsy: A Poem (Cabinet Edition, Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1878 (originally 1868); and How Lisa Loved the King. Fields, Osgood, 1869 as well as the Cabinet edition of The Legend of Jubal and Other Poems (Edinburgh, William Blackwood & Sons, 1878 (originally 1874).

In print, the long poems The Spanish Gypsy and How Lisa Loved the King can be found in individual editions. Shorter poems were previously available only in Bernard Paris’s “GE’s Unpublished Poetry,” Studies in Philology, 56 1959, 539-58. In 2005, The Complete Shorter Poetry of George Eliot was finally published, edited by Antonie Gerard van den Broek and William Baker (London & New York: Routledge). The best book of criticism on George Eliot’s poetry is Wendy S. Williams’s George Eliot, Poetess (London & New York: Routledge, 2016).

Translations by George Eliot

Before she became fiction writer George Eliot, Marian Evans translated three works, The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined by David Friedrich Strauss, The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig Feuerbach, and The Ethics of Benedict de Spinoza. 

The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined. Translated by Marian Evans from Das Leben Jesu, by David Friedrich Strauss. London, Edward Chapman and William Hall, 1846. 3 vols. George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.

The Essence of Christianity. Translated by Marian Evans from Das Wesen des Christentums, by Ludwig Feuerbach. London, Edward Chapman and William Hall, 1854. George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.

The Ethics of Benedict de Spinoza. Translated by Marian Evans from Ethica, by Benedict de Spinoza, Edited by Thomas Deegan. Institut fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universität Salzburg, Austria, 1981. George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org.