Still crazy about George Eliot

How do you celebrate a person’s 200th birthday? More particularly – how do you celebrate George Eliot’s 200th birthday?

We thought the best way possible would be to ask distinguished writers to write short articles with one aim – to stop people saying “I really must get round to reading ‘Middlemarch’ and show them why they just have to pick the book up and read it today.

Of course many people will imagine that this apparently serious and forbidding character – a sort of Queen Victoria with a brain – is not for them. But pick up ‘Middlemarch’, ‘Silas Marner’ or ‘Daniel Deronda’ and you will find how captivating and magical her stories and words are. And how relevant her themes and ideas are today.

Whether it is George Eliot and her focus on the role and position of women – as relevant today as in her time of writing, or her intimations of same sex relationships in surprising depth, poor mental health and its corrosive effects, addiction not just to drugs, fraudulent bankers, self-satisfied prigs, or the pressures of society, each of the writers will enthuse you and make you want to read her novels. With other chapters on George Eliot and Brexit, the way interiors in the novels bring to life the characters and the personalities, and why we still know her as George Eliot – you will see from our enthusiasm how modern she still is and how she directly speaks to us even today.

And most of all – find out how this woman, Mary Anne Evans, lived what her contemporaries saw as a totally scandalous life (one of the reasons why she chose to write under a man’s name) in the most moral way. Living with a man married to another woman and dealing with the real issues that face women still today – George Eliot’s novels are still the greatest – and often the most humorous – books.

So celebrate her 200th birthday with us – and with this book ‘Still Crazy about George Eliot 200 Years Later’.

And we are: Charlotte Fiehn, Sara Håkansson, Sarah Barnette, Cathy Tempelsman, Brenda McKay, Katharine Williams, Mari Seaword, Angela Runciman, Constance Fulmer, Dr Ailsa Boyd, Akiko Higuchi, Kathleen McCormack, Bob Muscutt, Margaret D. Stetz, Shinsuke Hori, Dr Catherine Brown, David Taylor, Paul Davies, John Rignall, Shoshana Milgram Knapp, Eri Satoh and Ben Moore.