Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 25 (1994)
The Gladness of the World (the title is a quotation of the concluding words of George Eliot's religiously humanistic poem, 'O May I Join the Choir Invisible') was a wide-ranging, often moving, programme of readings of passages from George Eliot, and of music for mezzo-soprano, choir (and choir soloists), and solo instrumentalists.
The rich variety of Gabriel Woolf’s programme of readings in which he was joined by Canon Michael Sadgrove represented the extraordinary scope of the author's achievements, and succeeded both in conveying a sense of the development of her own life, and in bringing before the audience some of the lives – Mrs. Poyser, for example, and the Dodson sisters - that she had created. The poignant Brother and Sister sonnets encapsulated the abiding significance to George Eliot of the experience and affections of childhood.