George Eliot: Adam Bede

(2107 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

George Eliot was so delighted by the popular success of Adam Bede that she added all the relevant details of publishing arrangements, sales figures, and flattering reviews to the short account in her diary, which had outlined how the book was devised and written up. According to that account, it seems that Eliot's “Methodist Aunt Samuel” had long ago (1839 or 1840) told her a story of a young Nottinghamshire farm maid, seduced by the local squire and subsequently brought, in desperation, to the murder of their child. The point of the story no doubt hinged upon her aunt's attendance upon the woman in prison, their shared prayers, and finally, the tearful confession of the crime with due contrition and repentance. The spiritual …

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Uglow, Nathan. "Adam Bede". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]