Lewes, George Henry

PHILOSOPHER, PLAYWRIGHT, DRAMA CRITIC (ENGLAND)
BORN 18 Apr 1817, London - DIED 30 Nov 1878, London
GRAVE LOCATION London: Highgate Cemetery East, Swain's Lane, Highgate

George Henry Lewes was a grandson of the actor Charles Lee Lewes. He strated out on a commercial career and subsequently switched to a medical career. In 1838 he went to Germany, possibly to study philosophy. In 1841 he married Agnes Jervis. They had three sons.

Between 1841 and 1850 he appeared on the stage as an actor, but gradually he devoted himself to literature. Lewes wrote for several magazines on drama and other subjects. As a young man he had seen Edmund Kean on the stage and later he saw Charles MacReady, David Garrick and many others and wrote about their performances.

"The Biographical History of Philosophy" was published in 1846, followed by two novels in 1847-1848. Together with Thornton Leigh Hunt he founded the Leader and he became its literary editor.

In 1851 he met George Eliot and in 1854 he went to live with her. They couldn't marry because he wasn't able to obtain a divorce from Agnes. In 1855 he published "Life of Goethe". In 1865 he became the editor of the Fortnightly Review, but in 1867 John Morley succeeded him. Because of his sudden death in 1878 he wasn't able to complete "The Problems of Life and Mind" (1874-1879, five volumes).

He was buried at Highgate Cemetery East in London. When George Eliot died in 1880 she was buried in a grave near his.

Related persons
• met Brontė, Charlotte
• knew Collins, Wilkie
• was the lover of Eliot, George
• was a friend of Hunt, Leigh
• was a friend of Trollope, Anthony

Sources
• Daiches, David (ed.), The Penguin Companion to Literature 1, Penguin Books, 1971
George Henry Lewes - Wikipedia

Images

The grave of George Henry Lewes at Highgate East Cemetery, Londen.
Picture by Androom (12 Dec 1993)

 


Leyland, Frederick

Published: 19 Sep 2008
Last update: 20 Mar 2016