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The Complete Shorter Poetry of George Eliot and The Spanish Gypsy


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The Complete Shorter Poetry of George Eliot

This two-volume edition brings together all of George Eliot's poetry - excluding only the volume-length The Spanish Gypsy - and supersedes Cynthia Ann Secor's unpublished PhD thesis on this subject, the only authoritative edition of Eliot's poetry. This promises to be the standard edition of her poems for many years to come and will be indispensable for scholars and general readers alike.

The general introduction will discuss Eliot's interest in poetry and verse and its relation to her prose and prose fiction; her recurring themes and motifs; the poetry's critical reception and its value to modern readers. Each poem will have an introduction describing the composition of the poems, where Eliot was at the time, what she was reading, and other relevant information, based on Eliot's own letters, journals and notebooks. The various texts consulted will be listed and textual variants highlighted. And, significantly, notes to help readers better understand Eliot's poetry will also be included - something that no other edition has ever done. Finally, there will be appendices providing Eliot's epigraphs to her novels, poetry fragments, Eliot's essay on 'Versification' and an index of first lines.

The Spanish Gypsy by George Eliot

In 1864, George Eliot began writing her longest poem, The Spanish Gypsy. This ambitious project exhausted her, and her partner George Henry Lewes took the manuscript away from her for fear it was making her ill. She returned to it two years later, after finishing Felix Holt. She threw herself into the work, even visiting Spain as part of her research. Finally published in 1868 to mixed reviews, the poem not only has intrinsic merit but looks forward to Eliot's interests and concerns in her later work, especially Daniel Deronda.

Following on from Pickering & Chatto's highly successful The Complete Shorter Poetry of George Eliot, this is the first scholarly edition of The Spanish Gypsy. Also edited by Antonie Gerard van den Broek, it benefits from full scholarly apparatus, including a substantial general introduction, textual variants and endnotes. The general introduction is based on detailed analysis of letters, journals, notebooks, proofs, as well as the manuscript itself (now held in the British Library). The editor explains what Eliot read to research the poem, which parts caused her particular problems, summarises the poem's critical reception, and contextualises it within her wider oeuvre.

This edition will be an essential library purchase for institutions with holdings in Victorian literature and women's writing. It will be useful for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as Eliot specialists.


- The first complete, scholarly edition of a little-known work from a canonic nineteenth-century writer

- A sister title to The Complete Shorter Poetry of George Eliot (2005)

- New editorial material includes a preface, a general introduction, textual variations and endnotes

Bibliographical information:

- The Complete Shorter Poetry of George Eliot. Edited by Antonie Gerard van den Broek. 2 volumes. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2004.

- The Spanish Gypsy. Edited by Antoine Gerard van den Broek. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2008.

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