English, Department of



Mary Waldron

Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 37 (2006) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/


The George Eliot Review 2019 (37)


This Broadview edition of Adam Bede has a biographical and critical introduction, appropriately integrating G. H. Lewes into its discourse, and useful essays on some of the themes of the novel, - Religion, Love, Rank and Status. There are short summaries of selected critical commentaries from the contemporary to the current, including an appraisal of the feminist divide over George Eliot. The brief chronology is succeeded by a note on the text, here that of the First Edition with minor corrections/adjustments from the manuscript, footnoted throughout. The Appendices which follow it provide foreground and background to the novel, for example the author's own self-conscious account of how and when she came to write Adam Bede. Further material is found in the broadsheets on the execution of Mary Voce, extracts on the contemporary reception of the novel - an extension of pp. 39-40 of the introduction - and a telling analysis of the religious background. There are relevant derivations from Eliot's theories of fiction, drawn from comments in the years preceding Adam Bede, which show just show how swiftly they were assimilated into her practice.