Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 18 (1987)
1986 was undoubtedly the Year of the Statue and the erection and unveiling in March was the highlight of our work in promoting and honouring George Eliot. A full report appeared in the 1986 Review and it is not necessary to include any more in this report, except to say that, after all the public ceremony of the day before, the Fellowship met at the George Eliot Hotel on Sunday, March 23rd for a Celebration Luncheon. This was informal and extremely pleasant, and it proved to be a real 'family' affair. Jonathan and Marjorie Ouvry stayed over to be with us, and we felt that the occasion completed this splendid weekend most suitably.
The Annual General Meeting on March 7th contained no excitement; such meetings seldom do, but we welcomed a 'new boy' to the Council - Ted Bates - whose enthusiasm is matched by his support. Ted never suggests anything that he is not prepared to carry out himself to the last letter, and we are pleased to have him working with us. We also elected two new Vice Presidents to give a welcome literary addition to our list - Dr. Frank Pinion and Dr. Graham Handley have both done and still do sterling work in promoting interest in George Eliot 's works.
Gabriel Woolf1s annual visit in May was a great success. There was unqualified praise for this year's performance in which he had chosen as his theme the Victorian Work Ethic. Entitled 'Silas Marner - Not Quite a Comlllon Ol’ Workin' Man' it attracted much larger audiences than the previous year when we had made such a loss and we were very happy with the outcome. Financial success was guaranteed by generous sponsors who, between them, covered the very high hire charge of the lovely theatre at the University of Warwick Arts Centre. Free tickets were offered in return, and some of our more distant sponsors asked that their tickets be passed on to local students. Thus, young people who would not normally attend such an event were able to do so. Not only did this fill lots of seats but it introduced George Eliot in a unique way to tomorrow's readers.