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.

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

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

Author Unknown
Macmillan's Magazine, April 1861, pp. 441-8
1861-04 (April)

Eleanor Marx Aveling and Edward Aveling
Westminster Review, vol. 125, Jan. 1886, pp. 207–222.
1886-01 (Jan)

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

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

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

Henry James
Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 1866, vol. 18, pp. 479–492.
1866-10 (Oct)

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

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

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

Author Unknown
Athenaeum, 7 April 1860, pp. 467-68
1860-04-07

Author Unknown
British Controversialist and Literary Magazine, 1860, pp. 412-16
1860

Author Unknown
The Saturday Review, 14 April 1860, pp. 471-2
1860-04-14

Author Unknown
The Spectator, 7 Apr. 1860, pp. 330-331
1860-04-07

E. S. Dallas
The Times, 19 May 1860, p. 10.
1860-05-19

Rev. W. Lucas Collins
Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 87, May 1860, pp. 611–623.
1860-05 (May)

R. H. Hutton
The Spectator, 1 June 1872.
1872-06-01

Frederic Harrison
Fortnightly Review, vol. 43, Mar. 1885, pp. 309–322.
1885-03 (Mar)

Margaret Oliphant
Edinburgh Review, Apr. 1885, vol. 161, pp. 514–553.
1885-04 (Apr)

E. B. Hamley
Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 137, Feb. 1885, pp. 155–176.
1885-02 (Feb)

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

Author Unknown
Westminster Review, vol. 65, Jan. 1884, pp. 151-62
1884-01 (Jan)

Mary H. Deakin
Manchester University Press, 1913.
1913

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

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

Author Unknown
The Saturday Review, 13 April 1861, pp. 369-70
1861-04-13

E. S. Dallas
The Times, 29 Apr. 1861, p. 12.
1861-04-29

Author Unknown
British Controversialist and Literary Magazine, 1859, pp. 268-73
1859

Lisbeth Gooch Seguin
A. Strahan, 1888.
1888

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

Author Unknown
Westminster Review, October 1863, pp. 344-52
1863-10 (Oct)

Author Unknown
Athenaeum, 11 July 1863, p. 46
1863-07-11

R. H. Hutton
The Spectator, 18 July 1863.
1863-07-18

Samuel Lucas
The Times, 2 Jan. 1858, p. 9.
1858-01-02

Charles Bray
Longman, Greens, and Co., 1884
1884

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

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

Eliza Lynn Linton
Hodder and Stoughton, 1899.
1899

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

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

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

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, 30 Mar 1872, p. 333-4
1872-03-30

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

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