Fun Facts Friday: George Meredith

February 12, 2021

George Meredith (12 February, 1828 – 18 May, 1909) was a poet and novelist living in Victorian England.

Fun Facts Friday: George Meredith
Books by George Meredith*

  1. George Meredith was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, to a family of naval outfitters.
  2. At age 14, young Mr. Meredith was sent to school in Neuwied, Germany, where he stayed for two years.
  3. Trained to be a lawyer, Mr. Meredith abandoned the profession in favor of literary pursuits. Mr. Meredith published a literary magazine called The Monthly Observer along with Edward Gryffydh Peacock, an East India Company official, poet and writer who was the son of Thomas Love Peacock an… East India Company official, poet and writer.
  4. In 1856 he posed as the model for painter Henry Wallis for his painting The Death of Chatterton. George Meredith’s wife, Ellen, ran away with the painter.
  5. The Lark Ascendin , George Meredith’s poem inspired the Ralph Vaughan William’s musical piece with the same title, which was voted in 2011 as the United Kingdom’s favorite piece of music.
  6. In his 1851 poem Modern Love, Geroge Meredith writes “While the little bird upon the leafless branches / Tweets to its mate a tiny loving note”. This is the first time the word “tweet” has been used as a verb.
  7. The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, Mr. Meredith’s first novel was so shocking that the order for 300 copies was canceled.
  8. As a publisher’s reader, a job he took to supplement his income from writing, George Meredith became an influential member of the literary world. His friends included such luminaries as Robert Louis Stevenson, J. M. Barrie, Leslie Stephen (Virginia Woolf’s father), and George Gissing.
  9. In The Boscombe Valley Mystery, a short Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes tell Dr. Watson: “And now let us talk about George Meredith, if you please, and we shall leave all minor matters until to-morrow.”
  10. George Meredith was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times.

Books by George Meredith*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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