John Bayley

The Florence Nightingale of Fiction

Selections from George Eliot's Letters

By Gordon S Haight

Yale University Press 585 pp £25 order from our bookshop

In May 1860 George Eliot wrote to Major Blackwood, proprietor with his brother of the famous magazine, commenting on a review in The Times of The Mill on the Floss, just published. The reviewer, E S Dallas, the author of one of the best and currently most neglected Victorian books on critical theory, The Gay Science, praised the novel warmly but made disparaging comments on some of the characters in passing, which upset their creator. ‘So far as my own feeling and intention are concerned, no one class of person or form of character is held up to reprobation or to exclusive admiration. Tom is painted with as much love and pity as Maggie . . . ‘

In these days of warmth, caring and compassion,

Sara Stewart


Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Interesting thread by Aki there on inclusivity in publishing. (Read her tweets for full thread.),
    • RT : A conference about inclusivity in publishing is a fantastic idea, but doesn't £200 seem a short-sighted undermining of, well, inclusivity?,
    • Calling all friends of bulbous salutations & the elfin grot: lots of entries to have already come in, but my door’s still open...,
    • 'Why the hell don’t they have more fun with their money?' Patrick Leigh Fermor skewers the super-rich ,
    • When Lenin went interrailing: Catherine Merridale charts his journey in her new book ,
    • Deadline today to win a pair of tickets to The Entertainer starring Kenneth Branagh. To enter, email marketing[at] .,