Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 24 (1993) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/
If William Shakespeare is the most famous writer to have come out of Warwickshire, the runner-up is undoubtedly George Eliot. Her greatest novel, Middlemarch, reflects the life of the city of Coventry in the early nineteenth century. Mrs. Kathleen Adams is herself a native of Coventry and has completed 25 years as the secretary of the George Eliot Fellowship. She attended Barr's Hill Grammar School; after leaving school she worked in the local Inland Revenue office where she met her future husband. After the birth of her two children she worked for 23 years as a school secretary at Coundon Junior School.
In 1965 she joined the George Eliot Fellowship and what began as a leisure pursuit soon became a major interest and activity, particularly after she became the Fellowship secretary. When she joined the Fellowship it had only 25 members; now it has several hundreds in 20 different countries. It publishes an academic journal, the George Eliot Review, of which Mrs. Adams was joint editor for many years, and it organizes an annual round of well-attended events, including the very popular readings by Gabriel Woolf. It has also commemorated George Eliot in more permanent ways. In the 1970's Mrs. Adams launched an international appeal for funds to place a memorial to her in Westminster Abbey. This was successfully accomplished in 1980, when a congregation of 700 people witnessed the ceremony of dedication. More recently, and nearer home, Mrs. Adams worked hard to convince the local authority in Nuneaton of George Eliot's greatness; in 1986, with the support of the Borough Council, the Fellowship was able to erect a statue to her in the centre of the town.