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.

Edward Dowden
The Contemporary Review, vol. 20, Aug. 1872, pp. 403–422.
1872-08 (Aug)

Author Unknown
Aberdeen Journal, 21 August 1872, p. 6
1872-08-21

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

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

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

W. Lucas Collins
Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 112, Dec. 1872, pp. 727–745.
1872-12 (Dec)

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

Author Unknown
Examiner, 7 December 1872, pp. 1204-5
1872-12-07

Author Unknown
The Saturday Review, 7 December 1872, pp. 733-4
1872-12-07

Author Unknown
Athenaeum, 7 December 1872, pp. 725-26
1872-12-07

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

Author Unknown
The Saturday Review, 21 December 1872, pp. 796
1872-12-21

R. H. Hutton
British Quarterly Review, vol. 57, 1873, pp. 407–429.
1873

Author Unknown
London Quarterly and Holborn Review, vol. 40, 1873, pp. 99-110
1873

Sidney Colvin
Fortnightly Review, vol. 19, Jan. 1873, pp. 142–147.
1873-01 (Jan)

Richard Monckton Milnes
Edinburgh Review [American Review], Jan. 1873, pp. 126–135.
1873-01 (Jan)

Author Unknown
Edinburgh Review, January 1873, pp. 246-63
1873-01 (Jan)

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

Henry James
The Galaxy, Mar. 1873, pp. 424–428.
1873-03 (Mar)

Frederick Napier Broome
The Times, 7 Mar. 1873, p. 3.
1873-03-07

Robert Laing
The Quarterly Review, Apr. 1873, pp. 336–369.
1873-04 (Apr)

George Barnett Smith
Saint Paul's Magazine, May 1873, pp. 592–616.
1873-05 (May)

Author Unknown
Academy, 5 February 1876, p. 120
1876-02-05

R. H. Hutton
The Spectator, 12 Feb. 1876.
1876-02-12

R. H. Hutton
The Spectator, 8 Apr. 1876.
1876-04-08

R. H. Hutton
The Spectator, 10 June 1876.
1876-06-10

Author Unknown
Athenaeum, 1 July 1876, pp. 14-15
1876-07-01

R. H. Hutton
The Spectator, 29 July 1876.
1876-07-29

Author Unknown
Examiner, 2 September 1876, pp. 993-4
1876-09-02

George Saintsbury
Academy, 9 Sept. 1876, pp. 253–254.
1876-09-09

Author Unknown
The Saturday Review, 16 September 1876, pp. 356-8
1876-09-16

Sidney Colvin
Fortnightly Review, vol. 26, Nov. 1876, pp. 601–616.
1876-11 (Nov)

Henry James
Atlantic Monthly, Dec. 1876, pp. 684–694.
1876-12 (Dec.)

Author Unknown
The Jewish Chronicle, 15 December 1876, pp. 585-6
1876-12-15

R. R. Bowker
International Review, IV, Jan. 1877, pp. 68–76.
1877-01 (Jan)

Edwin P. Whipple
The North American Review, Jan. 1877, pp. 31–52.
1877-01 (Jan)

Joseph Jacobs
Macmillan's Magazine, June 1877, pp. 101–111.
1877-06 (June)

David Kaufmann, translated from the German by J. W. Ferrier
William Blackwood and Sons, 1878
Second Edition
1878

Author Unknown
Westminster Review, vol. 54, July 1878, pp. 105-35
1878-07 (July)

W. J. Courthope
The Quarterly Review, vol. 147, Jan. 1879, pp. 81–112.
1879-01 (Jan)

Author Unknown
Academy, vol. 18, 24 December 1880, p. 460
1880-12-24

Leslie Stephen
Cornhill Magazine, Jan. 1881, pp. 34–50.
1881-01 (Jan)

Julia Wedgwood
The Contemporary Review, 1 Jan. 1881, pp. 173–185.
1881-01 (Jan)

Alexander Allardyce
Blackwood's Magazine, Feb. 1881, pp. 255–268.
1881-02 (Feb)

T. E. Kebbel
Fraser's Magazine, Feb. 1881, pp. 263–276.
1881-02 (Feb)

Leslie Stephen
Cornhill Magazine, Feb. 1881, pp. 152–168.
1881-02 (Feb)

Edith Simcox
The Nineteenth Century, May 1881, pp. 778–801.
1881-05 (May)

Author Unknown
Westminster Review, January 1882, pp. 65-81
1882-01 (Jan)
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