marian evans, george henry lewes and “george eliot”
AbstractThe idea that it might be possible to explore “gender” and “genre” as conceptually coupled through the study of intellectual couplings from different historical periods is the kernel from which this special issue of Angelaki grew. This paper considers the couple comprised by Marian Evans (1819-80) - better known as George Eliot - and her partner in life, George Henry Lewes (1817-78) alongside the theorization of the genre of the English realist novel in the nineteenth century. I will consider some of the rules and conventions that governed various kinds of coupling: between Marian Evans and G.H. Lewes, between gender and genre, and between George Eliot and the realist novel. The couple formed by Marian Evans and G.H. Lewes presents a challenge to Le D uff's formulation of the Heloise complex, even in its revised form, as sketched in the general introduction to this issue. For it was Lewes who acted as mirror for Marian Evans - enthusiastically reflecting back to her the genius, power and brilliance of George Eliot. According to Gordon Haight, Eliot's biographer, Lewes censored her incoming letters, and newspaper and journal reviews, allowing through only the most positive and gratifying opinions about her work.