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Join us to celebrate George Eliot’s 200th Birthday!

Published on Monday, 18th November 2019

George Eliot statue in the town with shops in the background

Kick-starting a weekend of fun and light switch-on events, we would like to invite you to help us mark the bicentenary (on November 22) of locally born novelist, George Eliot!

The events this Friday will include a special wreath laying ceremony, pop up museum, a free, guided museum exhibition tour and not forgetting cake and balloons!

Born Mary Ann Evans in 1819 at South Farm in Arbury, Nuneaton, Eliot became one of the most famous and best read of all nineteenth century novelists and her incredible life and works are revered by residents across the borough.

11am & 3pm we would like you to join us for a free, unique guided tour around the Scenes of George Eliot Country exhibition at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery. The exhibition provides a fantastic opportunity to see unseen objects from the Museum’s collection, including images not normally seen of the borough such as Griff Hollows and Arbury Hall.  From rural life and places of poverty, to urban living and industry riches, come and discover more about George Eliot Country!

At 1pm we would like to invite the public to join us to commence the celebrations with a wreath laying ceremony at the George Eliot Statue in Nuneaton town centre, which will be attended by the Deputy Mayor and Civic representatives. Local organisations are also invited to lay their own wreath at the statue.

At 2.30pm we will unveil an enlightening, George Eliot Pop-Up Museum in Nuneaton Town Hall. The exhibition, put together by volunteers of the Exploring Eliot project will showcase the fantastic George Eliot collections at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery, Nuneaton Library and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

To round up the day, you are invited to write your own, personal tribute to George Eliot for a unique, communal museum installation created especially to commemorate the borough’s beloved literary daughter.

Plus, top off the birthday celebrations with tea and birthday cake! Children are welcome, and there will be balloons for the first hundred visitors!

Philip Richardson, Director of Arts, Leisure & Democracy said:

“This is a wonderful way for our visitors and residents to get involved in paying tribute to George Eliot.”

“There is a great selection of activities planned for the whole family to enjoy, we would love for you to come along and help us honour George Eliot’s memory in this special bicentenary year!”