Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 24 (1993)
I write my annual greeting to members of the George Eliot Fellowship surrounded by inspiring objects. To my right not one, but two bronzes, John Letts's bust of George Eliot and his statue miniature, the latter next to a beautifully bound 1863 Tauchnitz copy of Romola Vol I (what happened to Vol 11 I wonder?) inscribed 'Blanche Southwood Lewes from her mother Florence, April 1892'. I first read Romola when on holiday, but unfortunately not in Florence, and found it hard to understand why it has acquired the reputation of being George Eliot's most difficult novel.