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By George we're celebrating!

Published on Thursday, 22nd November 2018

George Eliot turns 200 in 2019 and a host of events are planned in celebration.

The Borough Council has teamed up with the George Eliot Fellowship to organise an exciting calendar of activities to mark this special anniversary year. George Eliot was the pen name for Mary Ann Evans; she was born on this day, 22 November, in 1819 on the Arbury Estate and lived at Griff, midway between Bedworth and Nuneaton, until she was 21. She went to school in Nuneaton and Coventry and drew inspiration from the local area.

The events planned for the year mark the wonderful literary achievements of George Eliot, pay homage to the woman behind the pen and celebrate the town’s rich heritage and exciting future.

Celebrations across the Borough start in February, with the launch of a special programme of exhibitions at Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery. Throughout the year there will also be talks, readings, dramatic and musical performances and heritage open days. We can look forward to street theatre and even a candlelight concert.

A special summer celebration event is planned for September, with town centre street entertainment and music. There will also be a Victorian theme to Nuneaton’s 2019 Christmas light switch on event which takes place near George Eliot’s 200th birthday - the event will complement more formal events in London, which end in a wreath laying at Westminster Abbey on 22 November 2019.

In addition to these exciting events, the Council and the Fellowship are relaunching the George Eliot trail. This version will include an exciting interactive dimension and literary quotations around town.

Linda Mayne of the George Eliot Fellowship said:

“The George Eliot Fellowship Bicentenary Committee has already established a varied calendar of events for 2019, details of which are available on the dedicated website,  This will be updated regularly, please keep looking.

“Our theme for the year is “Meet the Woman”, celebrating George Eliot’s achievements.

“We are excited and proud to be asked by NBBC to be involved in both the planning and delivery of their events to bring this iconic local lady to the wider community”

Cllr Ian Lloyd, portfolio holder for Arts, Leisure and Economic Development said:

“George Eliot is the Borough’s most famous daughter and because of her work, Nuneaton is known around the world. I am looking forward to this year of celebration, especially some of the community events which will bring everyone together."