George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, named after the pen name of Mary Ann Evans who grew up nearby, is hosting a range of events to celebrate the Victorian novelist’s bicentenary.
Nuneaton-born Eliot wrote eight novels, which are mostly set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight. She used a male pen name because she believed it would ensure that her works would be taken seriously.
After the birth of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, several wards were named after characters from Eliot’s books - including Bob Jakin, Felix Holt, Dorothea, Romola, Mary Garth, Adam Bede and Solomon Macey. George Eliot’s partner, George Henry Lewes, was also recognised through the naming of the organisation’s Lewes House building. The Cheverel Wing is named after George Eliot’s name for nearby Arbury Hall.
The Trust’s reading group kicked off the organisation’s celebrations by reviewing George Eliot’s Silas Marner novel as their book for October. The hospital’s William Harvey library has also created an information display and ordered new editions of Eliot’s books for staff to borrow.
During November, the NHS Trust will be sharing information and facts about the history of their namesake and affiliated ward names via their social media accounts. The George Eliot Fellowship will be running a stall from Monday 18 - Thursday 21 November in the Trust’s Pathology Corridor.
The Fellowship will also be holding their annual lecture for the bicentenary year on Saturday 16 November. Sudden Impulse Theatre Company will be performing the world premiere of Silas Marner: The Musical at The Abbey Theatre from Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 November.
John Burton, George Eliot Fellowship Chair, said: “We are delighted to be supporting our local hospital in marking this important bicentenary of George Eliot’s birth. She is such an important figure in the local community and we are looking forward to meeting staff and patients to help spread the word about this wonderful author.”
Glen Burley, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust CEO, said: “We are proud that George Eliot’s legacy lives on in the name of our hospital and our individual wards and departments. I took the opportunity recently to use some of her more inspirational quotes during our Trust Board meeting to help support the events. I encourage our staff and patients to celebrate her bicentenary, especially in the days leading up to her birthday on 22nd November."
If you would like to find out more information about Eliot’s life and novels, the George Eliot Fellowship website contains a wealth of information www.georgeeliot.org/.
For more info on the bicentenary events visit For more information: www.georgeeliot2019.com
For full details on Silas Marner the Musical : www.suddenimpulse.co.uk/next-productions/.