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Eminent Victorian scholar Gordon Haight's newly collected essays on George Eliot and her literary tradition.

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Part One: Originals
1: George Eliot's Originals - 3
2: Poor Mr. Casaubon - 22
3: George Eliot's 'Eminent Failure', Will Ladislaw - 38
4: The Heroine of "Middlemarch" - 58
5: George Eliot's Klesmer - 68
6: George Eliot's Bastards - 78

Part Two: Contemporaries
7: The Carlyles and the Leweses - 91
8: Dickens and Lewes - 117
9: Dickens and Lewes on Spontaneous Combustion - 134
10: George Meredith and the "Westminster Review" - 146
11: Tennyson's Merlin - 174
12: Robert Browning's Widows - 192
13: George Eliot and Watt's "Clytie" - 204
14: Male Chastity in the Nineteenth Century - 210

Checklist of Articles, Notes, Letters to Editors and Book Chapters by Gordon S. Haight - 225


The late Gordon S. Haight is best known as the authoritative biographer of George Eliot and editor of her correspondence. This book gathers fourteen of his most important shorter studies of the lives and works of Victorian authors and artists, among them George Eliot, George Henry Lewes, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, George Meredith, Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, and G. F. Watts. Six of the essays consider George Eliot’s fictional characters and their “originals” or real-life models. In these studies, Haight applies his biographical research to the novels and stories, often developing his interpretative arguments in greater detail than was possible in George Elliot: A Biography. Eight of the essays discuss eminent contemporaries of Eliot and Lewes. Several of these pieces, such as the studies of Tennyson, Browning, and male chastity in the nineteenth century, reveal new and unexpected facets of Haight’s indefatigable investigation of Victorian literary culture.