Abstract

This article traces the compositional history of Middlemarch, George Henry Lewes’s invaluable role on the novel in handling negotiations with the publisher, John Blackwood, and his management of marketing and sales. Even though Lewes’s diary and journal show a paucity of details on Eliot’s work on Middlemarch, still his guiding hand is evident in every phase of the novel. While Lewes did not feel the need to mention Middlemarch unless it was necessary, Eliot’s own letters and diary fill in the silence. The article also explores the writing-double partnership in Victorian literature and the hybridity of possible prototypes to Casaubon. In this seventy-fifth anniversary issue of the George Eliot–George Henry Lewes Studies, it is important to revisit this valuable partnership that led to the writing of Middlemarch, which holds a unique place in Eliot’s fiction because it reflects her renewed commitment to art as moral enterprise.

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