English, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 23 (1992)


Published by The George Eliot Review Online https://GeorgeEliotReview.org


This is an examination of Scenes o/Clerical Life, Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner from the point of view of the linguist. The author points to these novels as repositories of examples of dialect speech of the Midlands in the first part of the nineteenth century. That George Eliot was interested in language and languages, and that she had a passion for getting local detail right makes it unthinkable, according to the author, that her use of dialect in these novels could be anything other than authentic. The examples of dialect speech by characters in these novels was applauded for the most part for the fidelity of its representation by George Eliot's contemporaries.