Letter to Mrs John Cash, p.1 and 4

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Date:10th of October 1863

Description:Mary Ann is now living with George Henry Lewes and signs this letter M.E.Lewes. She met Lewes first in 1851 but didn't start her affair with him until 1853. They lived together from 1855 until his death in November 1878. As Lewes remained married to his wife Agnes (who was living with their mutual friend Thornton Hunt by whom she had four children) they were unable to marry themselves, but Mary Ann thought of their relationship as a marriage and was devoted to his own children. Eliot writes to her friend Mary (nee Sibree) thanking her for a portrait of her mother Charlotte Guest (Reverend John Sibree's first wife) Eliot's own mother died when she was sixteen.


16 Blandford Sq.
Oct 10. 63

Dear Mrs. Cash

You judged rightly in believing that I should value Mrs. Sibree's portrait. It will be associated for me with very vivid tender memories of the time when you and I walked & talked together & when I used now and then to have half an hour of your mother's quiet impressive presence. Every good woman I have known is an influence that seems to gather strength as my life advances.

I love to hear of you & to think that your life is full of blessings. It would be a pretty sight, for which I would willingly use a wishing purse, to see you present yourself to me some day - perhaps with a little boy or girl by your side. Will that never be?

I rejoice in your Brother's success. It is a good for all the world when high principle & ability such as his find a prosperous career in teaching. I would gladly be remembered by him with some regard.

We have had much anxiety this summer about the destination of our second son, who is to bid us farewell on Tuesday next to go on his voyage to Natal. That anxiety & my bodily susceptibility have acted & reacted on each other & made me rather good for nothing. But now I am very well & am getting strong.

God bless you. Believe me always
Your affectionate friend

M. E. Lewes

Mrs. John Cash

Note: George Eliot (born Mary Ann Evans) was a local authoress based in the Coventry and Nuneaton district, from 1819-1880.


The timeline shows resources around this location over a number of years.

Letter fragment
Letter fragment

An invitation to an unknown person to visit. Transcript: So come to us when ...

Portrait of Robert Evans
Portrait of Robert Evans

Robert Evans, Mary Ann's father, taken from the miniature by Carlisle painted in ...

Letter to Mrs John Cash, envelope
Letter to Mrs John Cash, envelope

Transcript: Mrs John Cash Rosehill Coventry Note: George Eliot (born Mary ...

Engraved portrait of Charles Bray
Engraved portrait of Charles Bray

Engraved portrait of Charles Bray, aged 72, by H. Adlard from a photograph. George ...

George Eliot, Adam Bede decorative binding.
George Eliot, Adam Bede decorative binding.

Illustrated edition by Gordon Browne. Publisher unknown. Printed by W and R Chambers ...

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Link to this resource

Donor ref:Nun. Lib. 5 (49/11320)

Source: Nuneaton Library, Libraries, Heritage & Trading Standards, Warwickshire County Council

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