Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 34 (2003)
2002 was, as always, a busy year, and the one in which we published our Pitkin Guide to George Eliot. This was something of a milestone for us as Pitkin Guides are so well known around the UK and it seemed right that George Eliot should be included in the vast number of Pitkin titles.
We held our Annual General Meeting on 15 March and re-elected, with great pleasure, our President, Jonathan Ouvry, for another three-year term. Jonathan is so supportive of everything we do. We had been again without a treasurer until Jill Bridgewater agreed to replace Sophie Pavier and we were delighted to confirm her election. Jill has been an excellent Treasurer - very efficient and so pleasant to work with. After the business meeting the Secretary and John Burton gave a talk about their work on the Pitkin Guide.
On 17 February there was a service in Astley ('Knebley') Church at which the Chairman, on behalf of the Fellowship, handed over to the church a fine hand-made oak. bookcase in memory of our late Patron, the third Viscount Daventry, who had died two years earlier. Mr. Adams spoke about the close association between the Fellowship and Arbury and how pleased we are to have the late Lord Daventry's daughter-in-law, the present Viscountess Daventry, as our new Patron. In April Gabriel Woolf and Rosalind Shanks gave their annual programme of readings in the Council Chamber at Nuneaton Town Hall. After thirty-two years of these programmes we wonder how' Gabriel can find a new theme but he had devised a delightful presentation about animals entitled 'Reigning Cats and Dogs' and this was received with great pleasure by a large audience. We regretted that a second performance was not possible in 2002 - the first time for some years because we had found it difficult and expensive to mount two, but it did mean a much larger audience in Nuneaton than in past years.
The George Eliot Day on 18 May on 'Aspects of George Eliot' (rather than on one or more of the novels) was a great success although we were presented with a huge problem a few days before when Professor Rosemary Ashton was unavoidably prevented from coming to present her paper on George Eliot and the Westminster Review. Shortly after hearing this news I had a phone call from Gabriel Woolf. When I told him about this problem he immediately said he would come and help out with readings from the Westminster Review. This he did most successfully; not only readings but he gave us the background to George Eliot's work with the periodical. What a very good friend he is to us! We also had papers on music, poetry, and George Eliot's friends, together with good company and excellent food.