[EVANS, Mary Ann] 'George ELIOT' (1819-80). Autograph corrections to offprints of seven articles by Eliot, n.p., n.d., published as Essays and Leaves from a Notebook, ed. C.L. Lewes (1884), comprising 'Worldliness & Other-worldliness: The Poet Young', 'German Wit: Heinrich Heine', 'Evangelic Teaching: Dr Cumming' and 'The Natural History of German Life: Riehl' from the Westminster Review, 1855-57, 'Three Months in Weimar', Fraser's Magazine, 1855, 'The Influence of Rationalism: Leeky's History', Fortnightly Review, 1865, and 'Address to Working Men. By Felix Holt', Blackwood's Magazine, 1868, autograph list of titles, with the autograph subscription 'These are the only pieces up to the date Jan. 1857 of which the writer consents to the republication', the autograph emendations in purple ink consisting chiefly of extensive cancellations, 87 words added in autograph, further corrections in another hand in black ink, one page, 8vo, in autograph, 86 printed leaves, 8°, the autograph leaf window-mounted (lightly soiled, occasional minor tears, some leaves cut and skilfully repaired, presumably as part of the editorial process), early 20th-century purple crushed morocco gilt by Rivière, border gilt fillets, the spine in six compartments, lettered in three, roll-tooled gilt turn-ins, upper edge gilt (extremities lightly rubbed, spine slightly sunned).
George Eliot's periodical articles were an important source of literary self-confidence in the years immediately before she turned to fiction. Particularly interesting here is the article on Dr Cumming, a devastatingly scathing attack on an evangelic preacher: one of her most brilliant productions, it led George Henry Lewes to tell Eliot that he was convinced of the genius of her writing. The collection was published posthumously, edited by Lewes's son, Charles, in 1884: in his preface he refers to Eliot's corrections being made 'some time before her death'. The present volume appears to correspond to Sotheby's, 27 June 1923, lot 597, the sale of the literary effects of Charles Lewes's widow.