Contemporaries on GE's Life

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.

Biographical Studies: In this section, you will find assessments of Eliot’s life by her contemporaries—everything from brief commentary in periodicals to book-length biographies.

Obituary notices are well represented, including several later tributes written by famous authors whose own work was influenced by Eliot’s, including Henry James and Virginia Woolf.

Most significant is the biography written by her husband, John Walter Cross, which includes many of Eliot's letters and journal entries. Reviews of Cross’s biography are collected here for the first time.

It is interesting to note how often early biographical sketches included incorrect information. We retain these, of course, for the benefit of comparison and the historical interest of these records.

1859-06-06

1859-08-13

1859-08-20

1861-09-14

1862-05-17

Field, Kate
1864

1866-06-14

1867-04-18

1869-05-30

1872-03-18

1873-02-25

1873-04-07

1873-04-10

1873-05-01

1874-02-12

Galatea
1875-07-09

Underwood, Sara A.
1876

1876-04-22

1876-05-08

1876-05-08

1876-05-10

1876-05-20

1876-09-16

A. H.
1876-10-01

Swinburne, Algernon Charles
1877

Peirce, Z. F.
1877-01-27

Lewes, G. H.
1877-03-16

1878-02-19

1878-03-16

1879-01-02
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