Browning, Oscar (1837-1923)


Browning, Oscar (1837-1923)


Oscar Browning was a schoolmaster at Eton and a historian when he met George Henry Lewes and George Eliot in 1866. Browning was apparently pleased with his place in Lewes' and Eliot's crowd, which was dotted with celebrities. In 1875, Browning was dismissed as schoolmaster at Eton for rumors of homosexual advances. He returned to Cambridge where he strove to advance the study of history at the university and wrote historical works in his retirement. Browning wrote The Life of George Eliot in 1890, which brought together details from John Walter Cross’s biography and Browning's own personal interactions with Eliot. According to Henry James in a letter to his sister Alice in 1881, Browning had a theory that Eliot discovered something unsavory in Lewes' notes after his death and desired to go back on Lewes. This rumor is still contested.


George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett,


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