Senior, Jane Elizabeth (1828-1877)


Senior, Jane Elizabeth (1828-1877)


Jane Elizabeth Senior was the first female inspector of workhouses and pauper schools in Britain and worked for the Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War. She met George Eliot in 1866 and is believed by some scholars to be a source of inspiration for the character of Dorothea Brooke in Middlemarch. These critics point to Dorothea and Senior’s shared attraction to public service and the correspondence between Senior and Eliot during the time the novel was written, which includes reference to clothing and angels, symbols used in Middlemarch as well.


George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett,


4:317, 4:365, 4:422, 5:55, 5:57, 5:82, 5:285, 5:372, 6:46, 6:269


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