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G. H. Lewes

(1817—1878) writer


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(1817–78),

a versatile writer, was author of plays, essays (notably on Comte and Hegel), Ranthorpe (1847), a novel in imitation of Goethe; and a popular history of philosophy from F. Bacon to Comte (Biographical History of Philosophy, 1845–6). His liaison with George Eliot, dating from 1854, could not be regularized because he had condoned the adultery of his wife Agnes with Thornton Leigh Hunt, son of Leigh Hunt. By the time he met George Eliot, he was estranged from Agnes, but unable to obtain a divorce.

Lewes's most distinguished work is his still valuable Life of Goethe (1855). Lewes turned his attention increasingly to science: his later works range from biological works like Seaside Studies (1858) and The Physiology of Common Life (1859) to his ambitious attempt at psychology, Problems of Life and Mind (1873–9).

Subjects: Literature.


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