Commentary by Contemporaries

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.

Literature Reviews: The George Eliot Archive team has identified and collected most of the reviews of Eliot’s works written during her lifetime, many more than any printed collection. We’ve found, for example, twice as many reviews of Middlemarch by Eliot’s contemporaries than have been collected previously, and we continue to add more as we find them in various databases of digitized periodicals.

Biographical Studies: In this section, you also 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.

Annie Matheson
Matheson, Annie. “Children in the Novels of George Eliot.” Macmillan’s Magazine 46, 1882, pp. 488-97.
1882

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart. “Last Words from George Eliot.” Harper’s Magazine 66, Mar. 1883, pp. 568-71.
1883-03(Mar)

Maria Louise Henry
Henry, Maria Louise. “The Morality of Thackeray and George Eliot.” Atlantic Monthly 51, Feb. 1883, pp. 243-248.
1882-02(Feb)

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

Annie E. Ireland
Ireland, Annie E. “George Eliot and Jane Welsh Carlyle.” Gentleman’s Magazine 264, 1888, pp. 229-238.
1888

Mary Bradford Whiting
Whiting, Mary Bradford. “George Eliot as a Character Artist.” Westminster Review 138, 1892, pp. 406-415.
1892

Lucy Clifford
Clifford, Lucy. “A Remembrance of George Eliot.” Nineteenth Century 74, July 1913, pp. 109-118.
1913-07(July)

Charles S. Olcott
Olcott, Charles S. "George Eliot: Scenes and People In her Novels." Cassell, 1910.
1910

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

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

May Tomlinson
Tomlinson, May. “Dodsons and Tullivers.” Sewanee Review 26 July 1918, pp. 319-27.
1918-07(July)

May Tomlinson
Tomlinson, May. “The Beginning of George Eliot’s Art: A Study of Scenes of Clerical Life.” Sewanee Review 27, July 1919, pp. 320-329.
1919-07(July)

William Mottram
Mottram, William, George Eliot, and George Eliot. 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.
1906-10-13

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

Thomas Adolphus Trollope
Trollope, Thomas Adolphus. What I Remember. Vol. 1-2, Richard Bentley and Son, 1887.
1887

Thomas Adolphus Trollope
Trollope, Thomas Adolphus. What I Remember. Vol. 1-2, Richard Bentley and Son, 1887.
1887

Herbert Spencer
Spencer, Herbert. Herbert Spencer: an Autobiography. Vol. 1-2, Williams and Norgate, 1904.
1904-04(Apr)

Algernon Charles Swinburne
Swinburne, Algernon Charles. A Note on Charlotte Brontë. Chatto & Windus, 1877.
1877

Abba Goold Woolson
Harper, 1886.
1886

Matilda Betham-Edwards
Macmillan, 1919.
1919

Lina Wright Berle
Mitchell Kennerley, 1917.
1917

Mary H. Deakin
Manchester University Press, 1913.
1913

Clara Thomson
Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1901.
1901

Hannah Amelia Davidson
Study Guide Series, 1897.
1897

Lisbeth Gooch Seguin
A. Strahan, 1888.
1888

Helen Cone Gray and Jeannette L. Gilder
Cassell and Company, 1888.
1888

Hattie Tyng Griswold
A. C. McClurg, 1887.
1887

Margaret Lonsdale
Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1886.
1886

Sarah K. Bolton
Thomas Y. Crowell and Co., 1886, pp. 213-39
1886

Rose Elizabeth Cleveland
Funk and Wagnalls, 1885.
1885

Joseph Angus
Westminster Review, Jan 1872, p. 131-2
1872-01 (Jan)

Author Unknown
Standard [London], 2 Dec 1872, p. 5
1872-12-02

Author Unknown
Standard [London], 13 Nov 1872, p. 5
1872-11-13

Author Unknown
Leeds Mercury, 14 Dec 1872, p. 12
1872-12-14

Author Unknown
Examiner, 8 Jun 1872, p. 575-6
1872-06-08

Author Unknown
Examiner, 7 Dec 1872, p. 1204-5
1872-10-07

Author Unknown
Examiner, 5 Oct 1872, p. 985-6
1872-10-05

Author Unknown
Examiner, 30 Mar 1872, p. 333-4
1872-03-30

Author Unknown
Examiner, 3 Feb 1872, p. 125-6
1872-02-03

Author Unknown
Examiner, 27 July 1872, p. 743-4
1872-07-27

Author Unknown
Examiner, 2 Dec 1871, p. 1192-3
1871-12-02

Author Unknown
Daily News London, 29 Jan 1872, p. 5
1872-01-29

Author Unknown
Daily News London, 29 Nov 1871, p. 5
1871-11-29

Author Unknown
Athenaeum, 30 March 1872, p. 393
1872-03-30

Author Unknown
Athenaeum, 3 Feb 1872, p. 137-8
1872-02-03

Author Unknown
Athenaeum, 1 June 1872, p. 681
1872-06-01

Author Unknown
Aberdeen Journal, 9 October 1872, p. 6
1872-10-09

Author Unknown
Aberdeen Journal, 6 November 1872, p. 6
1872-11-06

Author Unknown
Aberdeen Journal, 22 Jan 1873, p. 6
1873-01-22

Author Unknown
Aberdeen Journal, 24 Jan 1872, p. 6
1872-01-24
Output Formats

atom, dcmes-xml, json, omeka-xml, rss2