Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 29 (1998) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/
1997 was, as always, a busy year for the Fellowship, beginning with the Annual General Meeting on 14 March. Mrs. Kathleen Porter retired from the Fellowship Council and was thanked for many supportive years. The Chairman had just completed twenty-five years in office and was presented with a gift token to show the Fellowship's appreciation for all those years in office. Mr. David Adams was elected to take the place of Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Vivienne Wood of King Edward Sixth Form College, Nuneaton was co-opted for one year. A George Eliot version of 'Call my Bluff' concluded the meeting.
On a less rewarding note, we saw on BBC Television a film of The Mill on the Floss at the beginning of the year. It was a great disappointment, although attractively filmed. It was so lacking in humour and passion apart from diminishing the story and losing so much of its significance. Far too much had been changed, valuable characters had disappeared and the ending was a total misreading of George Eliot's story.
In March we were saddened by the death of Ray Green who had been a valuable and very supportive member of the Fellowship Council for many years until ill health had forced him to retire.!
'Heard But Not Seen' was the title of the 1997 George Eliot Readings devised by Gabriel Woolf and presented by him with Rosalind Shanks in Nuneaton at the Town Hall and in Coventry at the University of Warwick Arts Centre of 17 and 18 April. This was a delightful programme, looking at Victorian children in fiction with particular emphasis on The Mill on the Floss. Unfortunately, our audience was smaller than usual and this was undoubtedly caused partly by the lack of publicity we had locally. The Coventry Evening Telegraph with its various Warwickshire editions promised cover and failed to keep its promise. Also, many of the students who had complimentary tickets did not use them, clearly feeling no obligation to attend an event for which they had paid nothing. We hope to try and get round this problem in 1998 by making a small charge. We are immensely grateful to Gabriel Woolf for the many many hours he puts in to select his material for this annual programme; what we see on stage is only the tip of the iceberg. He and Rosalind Shanks provide what must be the highlight of the year. We are very fortunate to have them.