The Life of George Meredith

The Life of George Meredith

The Life of George Meredith

The Life of George Meredith

Excerpt

It is a curious anomaly that has made a man of the stature of George Meredith wait twenty years for his authoritative biography. But the fault was his own; when he died, Lord Morley and Meredith's other executors approached Sir James Barrie. But Sir James refused, because he knew that Meredith was violently opposed to the idea of any one writing his life. He wanted to be known through his work alone.

The result he did not foresee was that men would insist on having knowledge about him: that false rumours would be a deforming mirror. In 1912, accordingly, his Letters were published with biographical notes by his son, and this, with the excellent article by Thomas Seccombe, in the Dictionary of National Biography, laid the foundation of a life. Another relative, Mr. S. M. Ellis, made valuable personal researches, which are almost always accurate, and which no biographer can ignore, especially with regard to the material of Meredith's novels, but the book was not reliable in all its judgments and had to be withdrawn from publication for infringements of copyright. A later study revealed the fact that an entirely false estimate of Meredith's character was becoming current; in . . .

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