George Eliot Fellowship

The George Eliot Fellowship

The Council

While literature was my first love and the main focus of my studies, Silas Marner was the only George Eliot work I had read until I moved to Warwickshire after travelling the world teaching English as a Foreign Language.  I joined the Fellowship, read George Eliot’s other novels and discovered that ‘all human life is there’.

Readings of her work by Gabriel Woolf, more recently accompanied by Rosalind Shanks bringing to life the scenes and characters she remembered from childhood have been a not-to-be-missed experience as have Vivienne Wood’s adaptations of Eliot’s novels performed by local theatre company Sudden Impulse.  Her words and stories create compelling theatre at venues indoors and out including the Edinburgh Fringe. Study days and lectures continually offer new perspectives on and increase my interest in this fascinating woman and her work.  I love dipping into the Fellowship archive of many Eliot –related items, an exciting experience which will be available to all enthusiasts once the Visitor Centre is open.

A Council member for several years, I especially enjoy my role as lead volunteer gardener at George Eliot’s grave in Highgate Cemetery.  Being there is always a delight it is such a tranquil and atmospheric place. It is also a privilege to meet visitors local and global who come to pay homage.  We hear their stories and share information about Fellowship events and activities.

In February 2020, the 90th anniversary of the formation of the George Eliot Fellowship, I addressed the Antipodean George Eliot conference at the University of Sydney on the role of this very special Literary Society which promotes the work of the woman who is, I believe, our greatest novelist.