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


Dramatis Personae (in order of appearance)

Marian Evans (Mrs. Lewes) (George Eliot) (left) was born near Nuneaton in 1819 to a prosperous land agent and his (second) wife. She has lost whatever regional accent she may have had, and has often been complimented on her melodious voice. She speaks quite slowly, rarely with emphasis, nearly always with a shy earnestness and a dry sense of humour. At the time of this play, only her husband and (very recently) her publisher know that she is 'George Eliot', the author of the huge best-seller Adam Bede (1859), and of the only slightly less famous Scenes o/Clerical Life (1857). (She is of course a real person, although she did not make this journey on this day [if she ever did] and never met any of the other people in this play.)

Mr. Millington (Percy) is a porter at Nottingham Station. A small man, he is much the same age as Helen and Marian, but looks older. He is a younger brother of Mary Foxton, and has a Nottingham accent. His job keeps him reasonably fit; he is rather short-sighted but cannot afford spectacles. (He is a fictitious character.)

Helen (Macfarlane) (Proust) Edwards (Howard Morton) is Scottish, born of wealthy mill-owners in Glasgow in 1818, and is thus much the same age as Marian; she has not lived in Scotland for nearly twenty years, but she still has a definite accent. She is forty, thin and tired, but a good-looking woman who can summon up a fierce glance. It is typical of her that while she often begins her speeches slowly, as though testing her ground, she soon speeds up, becoming increasingly passionate (and witty). (She is also a real person; she might have made this journey on this day, but it is very unlikely indeed that she did and, if she did, certain that she didn't meet Mrs. Lewes.)

Mary Foxton (nee Millington) is the attendant in the First Class Ladies' Waiting Room at Nottingham Station. She is a tall pleasant-looking woman, a little older than Percy, a widow, and a Friend (Quaker). She has a Nottingham accent. (She is a fictitious character.)