George Henry Lewes

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lewes, George Henry


Born Apr. 18, 1817, in London; died there Nov. 28, 1878. English journalist, literary critic, and positivist philosopher, follower of A. Comte.

Lewes founded the journal Fortnightly Review. In his influential History of Philosophy (vols. 1-4, 1845-46; Russian translation, 1865), Lewes viewed the history of philosophy as a history of errors and attempted to show that positivism was the only path to knowledge. He expounded the principle of the “functional indifference of nerves” arid criticized the doctrine of “physiological idealism” concerning the specific energy of the sense organs. Lewes’ ideas contributed to the spread of naturalism in 19th-century English literature.


Aristotle. London, 1864.
The Problems of Life and Mind, vols. 1-5. London, 1874-79.
The Physical Basis of Mind. London, 1877.
Life and Works of Goethe. London, 1855.
In Russian translation:
“Filosofiia nauk O. Konta.” In G. H. Lewes and J. S. Mill, O. Kont i polozhiteVnaia filosofiia. St. Petersburg, 1867.
Serdtse i mozg [2nd ed.]. St. Petersburg, 1875.
Voprosy o zhizni i dukhe, vols. 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1875-76.
Izuchenie psikhologii, ee predmet, oblast’ i metod. Moscow, 1880.


Stadlin A. “Filosofskoe uchenie D. G. Luisa.” Russkii vestnik, 1876, vols. 124, 125, 126.
Volkov, N. P. D. G. L’iuis. Vladikavkaz, 1904.
Ivashcheva, V. V. “Ot Dzhordzh Eliot k angliiskomu romanu 60-kh gg.” Voprosy literatury, 1971, no. 7.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
On her return to England she became a contributor and soon assistant editor of the liberal periodical 'The Westminster Review.' This connection was most important in its personal results; it brought her into contact with a versatile man of letters, George Henry Lewes, [Footnote: Pronounced in two syllables.] and in 1854 they were united as man and wife.
He had read somewhere that every man was born a Platonist, an Aristotelian, a Stoic, or an Epicurean; and the history of George Henry Lewes (besides telling you that philosophy was all moonshine) was there to show that the thought of each philospher was inseparably connected with the man he was.
Eliot controlled her public image in part through the gatherings she and her partner, George Henry Lewes, held in their home, known as the Priory.
McCormack demonstrates how, in the last decade of her life, Evans was able to use her travels and the salons that she and George Henry Lewes held at their home to become known to a wide circle of literary figures and intellectuals.
Downer; On natural acting, George Henry Lewes. Part II Staging, Scenery and Lighting: Lighting at the King's Theatre, Haymarket, 1780-82, Judith Milhous; Appendix A.
The Victorian writer who called herself George Eliot and her partner George Henry Lewes occupied positions of prominence in Britain's literary world at the time Whitman was publishing his various editions of Leaves of Grass in the United States.
Romola is such a thoroughly researched work that her life partner, George Henry Lewes, confided to the publisher his fear that Eliot was writing an encyclopedia rather than a novel.
During the heyday of the Victorian literary and musical salon era, salons held by George Eliot and George Henry Lewes in 1870s London were attended by people from all walks of life, including gays and lesbians, singers, and musicians.
Conscious of the hard work, perseverance, possible poverty, courage, and renunciation of popular applause necessary to success (15)--of" the arduousness and difficulties of a career so facile in imagination," which George Henry Lewes saw George Eliot emphasizing in Daniel Deronda (Letters, VI:193)--she had no advice for aspiring women except what she constantly told herself: work hard; constantly exert more effort.
Garrison posits that reviewers were influenced by two earlier works on physiology by Alexander Bain and George Henry Lewes that discussed physical responses to external stimuli.