English, Department of



Kathleen Adams

Date of this Version


Document Type



The George Eliot Review 36 (2005)


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


Our year never gets off to an exciting start because the first event is the Annual General Meeting but the 2004 one was rather different. The business meeting was completed swiftly as there was no change to the Council or to the officers. There was still some concern about the positions of Chairman and Secretary as there were no nominations for either post although it was known that both were eager to be replaced. The meeting was very well attended but this was obviously because we followed the business meeting with a visit from Louis Marks who produced the BBC TV film of Daniel Deronda. His talk about the adaptation was most interesting and we were pleased that, at last, he had been able to come and speak to us.

2004 was the 150th anniversary of the life together of George Eliot and George Henry Lewes and we had decided to celebrate both of them during the year - ever aware of the supreme importance Lewes played in the creation of 'George Eliot’.

In April Gabriel Woolf and Rosalind Shanks made their annual visit to Nuneaton and this year their theme was 'Feminism Versus Fiction'. Again an excellent choice of material beautifully delivered. The fellowship Council is very aware of the amount of work Gabriel does to select the material, to edit it for the programme and to rehearse it with Rosalind before we see the final polished presentation.

We held the annual George Eliot Day on 15 May and chose as its theme 'George Eliot and her Circle' with papers on her Coventry Circle by Ruth Harris, the London Literary Circle by me, the artists she knew by Professor Leonee Ormond, and her friends Barbara Bodichon and Bessie Parkes by Dr Pam Hirsch. It is progressively difficult to find a new theme each year but this one worked very well. We began these special days as a stop-gap in between what we hoped would be more Warwick University Conferences but the stop-gap now has a very successful life of its own as long as we can continue to find a theme. 52 people attended the event and enjoyed the company and the excellent lunch.

There was an emphasis on Lewes at the Nuneaton Wreath-laying in June when our special guest was his great-great-granddaughter Mrs. Nada Lyons. Nada is descended from Lewes's youngest son Bertie and it was so nice to have another branch of the Lewes family with us to help us remember and honour him.