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Treasures on Tour: Middlemarch by George Eliot at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery

Published on Wednesday, 8th January 2020

A draft manuscript of Middlemarch by local writer George Eliot is being loaned by the British Library so that it can be displayed at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery until March 1 2020.

It is believed to be the first loan from a national collection to the Museum & Art Gallery.

The manuscript from the British Library is the only known surviving handwritten copy of Middlemarch. The manuscript is in four volumes one of which will be on display in the White Gallery of the museum.  Middlemarch is widely believed to be Eliot’s masterpiece and it frequently appears in listings of the World’s Greatest Novels.

The loan of Middlemarch forms part of the British Library’s Treasures on Tour programme, working with partners across the UK to share its collection of over 170 million treasures, inspiring the next great idea or moment of joyful discovery. The programme is generously supported by the Helen Hamlyn Trust. The British Library will be announcing additional loans as part of this programme later this year.

Visitors can also enjoy the accompanying “Scenes of Eliot’s Life” exhibition, which offers an introduction to George Eliot’s early days and work.

Cllr Ian Lloyd, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture says:

“We are incredibly grateful that the British Library, with financial assistance from the Helen Hamlyn Trust, have enabled us to bring Middlemarch to the borough.  It is the perfect end to the celebrations which have taken place over the last twelve months to celebrate her 200th birthday.”

Jamie Andrews, Head of Culture and Learning at the British Library, says:

‘We are thrilled to be lending George Eliot’s Middlemarch to our partners in Nuneaton, following the display of the manuscript in Coventry, continuing the celebration of this masterpiece.  ‘Treasures on Tour’ is designed to enable important collection items to be seen in communities across the UK.  We are grateful to the Helen Hamlyn Trust for support to make this loan possible, and will be announcing further loans later this year.’

Remember, as with all our shows, admission is FREE. There are also our other displays, as well as our fantastic activities for little-ones, to enjoy throughout the building.