Mrs. Greville

One of Henry James's early acquaintances in England was Mrs. Richard Greville, whom he was to refer to in a letter as `on the whole the greatest fool I have ever known'. On 19 October 1878, she made one of her frequent visits to her neighbours George Eliot and George Henry Lewes, carrying with her on this occasion the copy of The Europeans which James had given her. Then on 1 November, on an afternoon of incessant rain, she had paid another of her unsolicited and gushing visits, this time accompanied by James, who recalls his complicated impressions on that occasion. What he doesn't say is that Lewes was now a dying man, and by the end of the month was dead.


Note from George Eliot, from Literary Anecdotes