George Eliot in Society
Travels Abroad and Sundays at the Priory
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The Ohio State University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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The society (less extensive than George Eliot’s, though only a touch less illustrious), both personal and professional, which I have kept during the years I’ve been writing this book, has contributed much to its completion. On the professional side, I would like to thank my institution’s President Mark Rosenberg, always reliable for his dedication to the university and for a good-humored response to an e-mail. ...
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1. Introduction: The Big "S"
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In June of 1877, freshly arrived in Surrey for their first summer at a country home of their own, George Eliot and George Henry Lewes delighted in their new “property” (GEL 6:386). Lewes, writing to John Walter Cross, describes it as “more ravishing than we fancied it—especially in this splendid weather—and the walks and drives are so much better than Society! (With a big S)” (GEL 6:386). ...
2. Travels Abroad: Taking the Waters
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Between 1866 and 1868 George Eliot and George Henry Lewes were, quite deliberately, building a social circle that eventually matured into the guest list for Sundays at the Priory. In several cases, their annual travels had already resulted in new or enhanced friendships. In 1860 they had become acquainted with the T. A. Trollopes in Florence, and the following year journeyed with Tom Trollope ...
3. Months of Sundays
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Valentine’s Day, 1869, fell on a Sunday and brought to London a short interlude of faux spring weather that coaxed the foliage in the Priory garden into premature budding. This uncommon February sun and warmth, added to the usual prospect of fascinating, and possibly useful, conversation, helped bring many callers to the Leweses’ home in St John’s Wood that day. ...
4. Between Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda: Singers, Lovers, and Others
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The characters of Middlemarch include many gentlefolk who share the social rank of Priory guests, if not their intense intellectualism. The novel’s remote Midlands market-town physical setting, as well as its 1828–32 temporal setting, have helped to preserve the notion that George Eliot drew her characters only from her girlhood acquaintances in Warwickshire (her father Robert Evans as the model ...
5. The Salons, The Spas, and Daniel Deronda
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After their Surrey summer at Red Hill and the completion of Middlemarch, George Eliot followed her usual pattern of taking a holiday as rest and reward for successfully bringing a novel to its conclusion. This time, she and Lewes decided on yet another spa visit, perhaps the most famous they ever made: to the fashionable precincts of Bad Homburg soon adapted by George Eliot as Leubronn in ...
6. John Cross and the Last Spa
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George Eliot demonstrated her confidence in Continental spas most convincingly on her disastrous honeymoon with John W. Cross in 1880. After Cross had his breakdown in Venice, which supposedly included a desperate, perhaps suicidal, jump into the Grand Canal, she moved him as quickly as possible to the Schwarzwald, ending up at the spa at Bad Wildbad. ...
Appendix. The Leweses' Travels Abroad: A Chronology
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Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 14 halftones
Publication Year: 2013