Spencer, Herbert (1820-1903)


Spencer, Herbert (1820-1903)


Herbert Spencer and George Eliot first met in 1851, while Eliot was working at the Westminster Review. Both deeply admired the other's intellect, although they did occasionally disagree over topics like social evolution, Spencer's main field of study. The two were very close and spent significant amounts of time together; eventually, Eliot confessed her love for Spencer. Although he did admit an intellectual attraction to her, Spencer rejected her on the basis of a lack of physical attraction. He did, however, introduce Eliot to George Henry Lewes, her eventual domestic partner, in 1851. Eliot and Spencer remained lifelong friends, and when he passed away, her photograph was on his bedside table.


George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett, https://GeorgeEliotArchive.org


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