Alan Bell

Remembered Chiefly For His ‘Wife’s’ Novels

G H Lewes: A Life

By Rosemary Ashton

Clarendon Press 369pp £25 order from our bookshop

Except for his long, devoted, but unmarried liaison with Marian Evans, ‘George Eliot’, George Henry Lewes is little known nowadays. Rosemary Ashton’s thorough and well-written new biography recalls him as a considerable figure in the world of Victorian letters, adding a good deal to what we know of him from biographies and editions of George Eliot. This is a considerable achievement when there are great chunks of his early life for which very little is known of his activities. Autobiographical clues – used with due caution – have had to be picked up from his fiction, and the world of the self-taught, ill-paid aspiring journalist and essayist is skilfully recaptured.

Royal Shakespeare Company

Sara Stewart

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