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George Eliot. Blind, Mathilde, 1841–1896.
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1883.[All Rights Reserved]


DETAILED accounts of GEORGE ELIOT'S life have hitherto been singularly scanty. In the dearth of published materials a considerable portion of the information contained in this biographical study has, necessarily, been derived from private sources. In visiting the places connected with GEORGE ELIOT'S early life, I enjoyed the privilege of meeting her brother, Mr. Isaac Evans, and was also fortunate in gleaning many a characteristic fact and trait from old people in the neighbourhood, contemporaries of her father, Mr. Robert Evans. For valuable help in forming an idea of the growth of GEORGE ELIOT'S mind, my warm thanks are especially due to her oldest friends, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bray, and Miss Hennell of Coventry. Miss Jenkins, the novelist's schoolfellow, and Mrs. John Cash, also generously afforded me every assistance in their power.

A great part of the correspondence in the present volume has not hitherto appeared in print, and has been kindly placed at my disposal by Mrs. Bray, Mrs. Gilchrist, Mrs. Clifford, Miss Marks, Mr. William page: iv M. Rossetti, and the late James Thomson. I have also quoted from letters addressed to Miss Phelps which were published in Harper's Magazine of March 1882, and from one or two other articles that have appeared in periodical publications. For permission to make use of this correspondence my thanks are due to Mr. C.L. Lewes.

By far the most exhaustive published account of GEORGE ELIOT'S life and writings, and the one of which I have most freely availed myself, is Mr. Call's admirable essay in the Westminster Review of July 1881. Although this, as indeed every other article on the subject, states GEORGE ELIOT'S birthplace incorrectly, it contains many important data not mentioned elsewhere. To the article on GEORGE ELIOT in Blackwood's Magazine for February 1881, I owe many interesting particulars, chiefly connected with the beginning of GEORGE ELIOT'S literary career. Amongst other papers consulted may be mentioned a noticeable one by Miss Simcox in the Contemporary Review, and an appreciative notice by Mr. Frederick Myers in Scribner's Magazine, as well as articles in Harper's Magazine of May 1881, and The Century of August 1882. Two quaint pamphlets, ‘Seth Bede: the Methody,’ and ‘George Eliot in Derbyshire,’ by Guy Roslyn, although full of inaccuracies, have also furnished some curious items of information.



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