Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Baker, William, 1944-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Eliot; George; 1819-1880; Lewes; George Henry; 1817-1878. Problems of life and mind; Senses and sensation--Research; Consciousness--Research


This project is a transcription of a previously unpublished notebook written by the nineteenth-century English novelist George Eliot, with accompanying notes and an introduction. The notebook, written in 1879 and housed at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, as HM 12994, is a record of Eliot's preparations for the posthumous publication of her partner George Henry Lewes's final contribution to the emerging field of psychology. Problems of Life and Mind (1874–79), in five volumes, contains Lewes's last and most developed thoughts toward a theory of psychology that incorporates philosophy, physiology, and evolutionary theory. Following Lewes's death in November of 1878, Eliot immediately set to work editing drafts and compiling his notes into narrative. The final two volumes of Problems of Life and Mind were published in 1879 under her silent editorship. Over the last four decades, research in George Eliot studies has produced scholarly editions of many of her notebooks. Most recently, Jane Irwin has brought out the four notebooks related to the publication of Eliot's last novel, Daniel Deronda (George Eliot's Daniel Deronda Notebooks, Cambridge University Press, 1996). Other published notebooks include George Eliot's Middlemarch Notebooks, edited by John Clark Pratt and Victor A. Neufeldt (University of California Press, 1979); George Eliot: A Writer's Notebook 1854–1879, edited by Joseph Wiesenfarth (University Press of Virginia, 1981); and Some George Eliot Notebooks Vols. I–IV, edited by William Baker (University of Salzburg, 1976–1985). Although many of her notebooks have been published, Eliot's notes for Lewes's Problems of Life and Mind have been ignored. The notebook transcribed here is not listed in the Index of English Literary Manuscripts, Vol. IV 1800–1900. Likewise, the Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot (2000) describes most of Eliot's notebooks but omits any reference to HM 12994. The notebook is of particular interest because it shows Eliot working as an editor as well as a writer on a scientific rather than a literary project. It is also an important record of early psychology theory in mid-nineteenth-century England.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [163]-185).


206 pages




Northern Illinois University

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