George Eliot’s Life, as Related in her Letters and Journals

George Eliot, John Walter Cross

George Eliot's Life, as Related in her Letters and Journals
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George Eliot’s Life, as Related in her Letters and Journals

George Eliot, John Walter Cross

Best known for his brief marriage to George Eliot, John Cross (1840-1924) compiled this three-volume ‘autobiography’ of 1885 from his late wife’s journals and letters. Eliot was never married to her long-term partner G. H. Lewes, and she courted further scandal when she married Cross, twenty years her junior, in 1880. While these volumes offer a valuable insight into Eliot’s private reflections, what is perhaps most telling is the material left out or rewritten in Cross' efforts to lend his wife’s unconventional life some respectability, which he does at the expense of what one reviewer described as Eliot’s ‘salt and spice’. George Eliot’s Life will be of particular interest to scholars of nineteenth-century biography and literature. Volume 1 covers Eliot’s life from 1819 to 1857, beginning with a brief sketch of her childhood and continuing with her move to Coventry, then to London, and travels to Geneva.

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