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


Although the London Branch undertook nothing specific this year, it was represented by Graham Handley, Beryl Gray, Michael Forrest and Margaret Wolfit at a pleasant ceremony in Richmond on 22nd April 1992, when a plaque commemorating George Eliot was unveiled on the site of 8 Park Shot. The following address was given by Mr. Tim Brilton, Chairman of Richmond Magistrates' Court:

Mr. Mayor, Madam Mayoress, Ladies and Gentlemen - on behalf of the Richmond bench it gives me great pleasure to welcome the Mayor of Richmond, Councillor McKinney and the Mayoress to our ceremony this afternoon. We are pleased to welcome members, officers and staff of the Local Authority as well as my colleagues and staff room the Court. We also have members of the George Eliot Fellowship, and to all of you who have taken the time to come here, I extend a warm welcome.

We are all very sorry that Derek Jones, Head of the Borough's Library Services, is unable to be with us, particularly in view of his enthusiasm and concern to see this task completed. We are delighted that the Mayor has agreed officially to unveil this commemorative plaque to that famous authoress and novelist, George Eliot.

Just before I hand over to you, Mr. Mayor, I want to say a few words about this distinguished woman whom we are remembering today, and who once lived in a house on the site of the present Court buildings. The name on this plaque is 'George Eliot' , a name which is world-renowned in the literary sense, but it was not the name she was either born with or carried to her grave. She was Mary Anne Evans when she was born near Nuneaton in 1819. Her literary career began in 1846, when she translated Strauss's Life of Jesus for the publisher John Chapman. In 1851 she became Assistant Editor of the Westminster Review. In that year she also met George Henry Lewes, with whom she formed a lifelong union in 1854.