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The George Eliot Review 26 (1995) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/


The George Eliot Review 2018 (26)


The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts New Series 1981-1985 (2 vols., London: The British Library, 1994), records the acquisition of new George Eliot letters to its holdings.' Its Index lists under 'Cross nee Evans ... "George Eliot''' three items: 'Letter to J. T. Delane from George Eliot, 1859.61891, f.88'; 'Letter to E. L. Stanley from George Eliot, 1869.61891, f.90'; 'Letters to Florence Hill from George Eliot, [1869-?]- 1873.61891, ff.92-101' (p. 410).

The text of George Eliot's [30 November 1859] letter of protest to Delane, Editor of the London Times, about Newby, the publisher's 'issuing a work under the title of Adam Bede, Junior' and denial of the authorship of 'his so-called "sequel'" is found in the Times, 2 December 1859, p. lOd, and is reproduced in The George Eliot Letters (New Haven and London, 1954-78), Ill, 220.

The other letters are unpublished and to recipients to whom letters do not appear in the Letters. The first is to Edward Lyulph Stanley, fourth Baron Sheffield, and fourth Baron Stanley of Alderley (1839-1925), who was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he took a second class in classical moderation in 1859 and a first in literae humaniores in 1861. A Balliol Fellow from 1862 until 1869, he was called to the bar, and in 1872 became assistant Commissioner under the Friendly Societies Commission. In 1876 he became a member of the London School Board. L. A. Selby Bigge in his DNB entry on Lyulph Stanley observes that he 'took an active part' in controversy on 'the organization and administration of public education.' He 'was a strong advocate of public control...[who] ... held that the development of a public system of education was the business of public authorities (preferably of ad hoc authorities).' He strongly resisted proposals 'to enlarge the influence ... of voluntary or denominational bodies in that system' (DNB 1922-1930, London, 1961, pp. 805-806).

The 'Index' to The George Eliot Letters reveals that Stanley was on social terms with George Eliot and G. H. Lewes, and is listed amongst those who called at the Priory on 17 January and 13 June 1869,16 November 1873 and 8 February 1874 (see Letters, V, 5,45; IX, Ill; VI, 14). He is included amongst the 'celebrated men and "nobs'" Lewes encountered at Lady Airlie's Garden Party at which he was introduced to Queen Sophie of the Netherlands. Lady Airlie was Stanley's sister (see Letters, VI, 154-5, and Lewes's Diary now at Yale University, 8 July 1875).