George Eliot (1819-1880)

A selective list of articles for the English Victorian-era novelist George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources


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Introduction & Biography

Cohen, Paula Marantz. "Why Read George Eliot? Her novels are just modern enough—and just old-fashioned enough, too." American Scholar Spring 2006.

Hughes, Katherine. "The Mystery of Amos Barton." "An anonymous short story, written 150 years ago, about a real-life country clergyman caused suspicion and intrigue in literary circles." (UK) Guardian 6 Jan. 2007.

"George Eliot." The Victorian Web. Ed. George P. Landow. Many essays on George Eliot's technique, themes, biography, and the Victorian background.

A guide for teaching Eliot's Middlemarch from PBS. Includes suggestions on presenting and discussing episodes of the film version, a biography of Eliot, article on the historical context, and suggestions for using film to develop critical, analytical skills.

"Ahead of Her Time." Another excellent guide from PBS, in connection with her novel Daniel Deronda.

Woolf, Virginia. An appreciation of George Eliot. Orig. pub. Times Literary Supplement 1919.

James, Henry. Novelist Henry James on George Eliot. Insightful comments on George Eliot's limitations, from a master writer who admired her greatly. Orig. pub. Atlantic Monthly 1885.

Stephens, Leslie. George Eliot. Complete book, a biography of George Eliot by the eminent Victorian and father of Virginia Woolf, published in 1902.

Uglow, Nathan. "George Eliot." Literary Encyclopedia. Eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott, Janet Todd. An introduction to George Eliot, from a database that provides signed literary criticism by experts in their field, and is available to individuals for a reasonably-priced subscription. On Adam Bede; on Scenes of Clerical Life; on The Mill on the Floss; on Silas Marner; on Romola; on Felix Holt; on Middlemarch [subscription service].

Galloway, Shirley. "Martyrdom and the Unjust Society." Galloway explains that sympathy is what Harriet Beecher Stowe, in Uncle Tom's Cabin and George Eliot, in The Mill on the Floss, wished to stir in their readers. Also, "Silas Marner: A Study of Transition." Prof. Galloway's website.

Ashton, Rosemary. A review of Ashton's George Eliot: A Life (Allen Lane/The Penguin Press). Reveiwed in the NYTimes, 27 July 1997, by William S. Peterson [requires registration and intrusive software add-ons].

Hughes, Katherine. A review of George Eliot: The Last Victorian. Also the first chapter of the book. NYTimes, 18 July 1999 [requires registration and intrusive software add-ons].


Literary Criticism

Bodenheimer, Rosemarie. The Real Life of Mary Ann Evans: George Eliot, Her Letters and Fiction (Cornell UP 1994), a short review in Boston College Chronicle, by Sandra Howe.

Eigner, Edwin M. Review of three scholarly works on George Eliot: George Eliot by Rosemary Ashton; George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science: The Make-Believe of a Beginning by Sally Shuttleworth; The Teaching of George Eliot by William Myers. The Modern Language Review 82 (Oct. 1987). [First page of review only.]

Galloway, Shirley. "The Casuistry of George Eliot." On the contributions to Eliot's work of three philosophers: Auguste Comte, Ludwig Feuerbach, and Benedictus Spinoza. At a former college English teacher's personal website.

Graham, Stephen Meyer. "George Eliot's dialogue with history." The interplay of fictional text and historical subtext in Romola, Felix Holt, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda. PhD dissertation.

Lesjak, Carolyn. "A modern odyssey: Realism, the masses, and nationalism in George Eliot's Felix Holt." Novel: A Forum on Fiction Fall 1996 [first page only].

Litvak, Joseph. Caught in the Act: Theatricality in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel. (U of California P 1992). A complete, book-length critical study. Litvak contends that private experience in George Eliot "is a rigorous enactment of a public script that constructs normative gender and class identities." California Digital Library.

Logan, Peter Melville. "George Eliot and the fetish of realism." Studies in the Literary Imagination Fall 2002 [first page only].

Maitzen, Rohan. Whether religious faith is necessary to morality, and how George Eliot answered this question. From Professor Maitzen's blog, 25 June 2007.

Payne, David. "The serialist vanishes: Producing belief in George Eliot." Novel: A Forum on Fiction Fall 1999 [first page only].

Price, Leah. George Eliot and the production of consumers." Novel: A Forum on Fiction Winter 1997 [first page only].

Watson, Tim. "Jamaica, Genealogy, George Eliot: Inheriting the Empire After Morant Bay." Watson traces changing cultural constructions of race and class in 19th century England through the novelistic career of George Eliot. Jouvert 1.


Bibliography & Web Sites

George Eliot collection: facsimiles and transcripts of the George Eliot Collection. Access to the collection of Eliot manuscripts, and a short biography of George Eliot. George Eliot Collection, Nuneaton Library, Warwickshire.

"Women in the Literary Marketplace," an online exhibit from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell U, contains short entries on several Victorian women authors and their typical themes, information about the publishing context, and some images of first editions.

"Windows on Warwickshire." Enter the search term "George Eliot" to see her shoes, a jug belonging to her father, her lapdesk, and assorted treasures. Thousands of primary sources taken from archives, libraries and museums in Warwickshire have been digitized.

Web site for Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, the influential periodical, edited by "Christopher North," which began publication in 1817 and featured work from such writers as Walter Scott, George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, and Joseph Conrad. Contents: "The Rise and Fall of the House of Blackwood's Magazine," an illustrated essay on the history of the magazine; Bibliography of articles on Blackwood's Magazine and its authors; link to the Internet Library of Early Journals, which contains a digital archive of Blackwood's Magazine 1843-1863; "The First One Hundred Numbers," a study of the first 100 issues, including number 7, attacking Coleridge, Leigh Hunt and "the Cockney School of Poetry."

Web site for Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature: A scholarly journal devoted to the study of women's literature of all periods and nationalities [Feminist and Women's Studies].

Web site for Women's Writing, an international scholarly journal focusing on women's writing up to the end of the long nineteenth century. A sample copy is available for viewing, requires registration.

Old reviews from the Atlantic Monthly magazine are a source for criticism of George Eliot's novels by her contemporaries. Nineteenth-century editions of the Atlantic Monthly can be searched at this site, provided by Cornell U.


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