English, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 48 (2017)


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


The most noteworthy events of 2016 were the deaths of Bill and Kathleen Adams, a couple whose extraordinary dedication and hard work from 1968 until 2008 enabled the Fellowship to prosper and become a genuinely influential literary society. Bill was the first to die, just a couple of days after laying the wreath for us in June in Nuneaton, an event he loved, and where he met and chatted to so many old friends.

The AGM in March saw the existing team of Council members renewing their positions, with a request from Hon. Treasurer Jill Bridgewater that we should find a replacement for her, and an offer from Linda Mayne to learn the ropes and effect a gradual takeover. Also in March we held a pleasing ceremony at the statue in Newdegate Square to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary.

In April, following our study of The Spanish Gypsy in 2015, a party of members, including two from the USA, embarked on a tour of Andalucia in the steps of George Eliot and G. H. Lewes. By the time we returned from Spain our own edition of Felix Holt, a reprint with a new cover showing nineteenth-century Nuneaton, or Treby Magna, and our own preface, had been dispatched from Wordsworth Classics and we have been selling it ever since, sometimes at cost price to reading groups. The Annual George Eliot Essay Prize of £500 was awarded to Dr Anna Gutowska.

In May we held the annual George Eliot Day at the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre. We held a George Eliot Tour late in May and the twenty-five people who joined it had a wonderful day.

In June we held the annual Nuneaton wreath-laying and as readers will know the guest of honour was Bill Adams. We worked with the Landmark Trust to organize a literary weekend, which was called Writers in Warwickshire.July saw our Westminster Abbey wreath-laying, with Professor Constance Fulmer and Margaret Barfield from Pepperdine University doing the honours. During the summer we held a very successful series of six sessions to study Felix Holf.

October saw an extra special Annual Lecture day. Keynote paper was by Dr Ruth Livesey who showed some of the fascinating research she has done showing the links between dissemination of ideas and travel, notably stage coaches, and previewed some of the research she is embarking on into the Newdigate papers. We were regally entertained by Gabriel Woolf and Rosalind Shanks with their superb dramatized reading entitled Happy Birthday, Felix.

The final event of the year was the Annual Birthday Luncheon held at Ansty Hall.