George Eliot and John Chapman

By Gordon S. Haight
THIS book bears all the marks of an American Ph. D.’s thesis; if it is not that, it should be. Producing it was a sheer waste of hard, grinding labor; reading it is a sheer waste of attention. It deals with George Eliot’s literary and amatory activities as a member of the malodorous ménage à quatre kept by John Chapman, book publisher, editor of the Westminster Review, whilom medical quack, and first-class all-round rotter. The sum of the story is that George Eliot inhabited Chapman’s rookery for two years, helping him edit the Westminster, feeling her feet as a writer, and occasionally falling out with the other inmates. Chapman’s diary, tacked on as an addendum to this mephitic yarn, comes to a trifle more than half the book, and is probably unique among diaries in exhibiting not one single item of any conceivable interest to anybody.
A. J. N.