Jacqueline Banerjee. This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer, and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the picture to enlarge it.]Photograph 2005 and text by
Meredith and his first wife Mary Ellen began married life in lodgings at a rather grand house in Weybridge, Surrey, called The Limes. It has since been demolished, but is remembered there now in the name of Limes Road. This was just over the river from Shepperton in Middlesex (now a part of Surrey), where Mary Ellen's father, the satirical novelist Thomas Love Peacock, lived in a house converted from two adjoining cottages on Lower Halliford Green. When the young couple started to have difficulty paying their rent, Peacock took them in, and their son Arthur was born there in 1853. But having the young family with him was too much for Peacock. He was now a reclusive man of scholarly habits in his late sixties, and even before the baby arrived he found it hard to tolerate the incursion. It is easy to imagine that Meredith's constant talking, Radical views, and (particularly) cigar smoking all irritated him. He soon decided to rent Vine Cottage for them across the green, where they were based within a stone's throw of him for the last few years of their troubled marriage.
Banerjee, Jacqueline. Literary Surrey. Headley Down, Hamps.: John Owen Smith, 2005.
Jones, Mervyn. The Amazing Victorian: A Life of George Meredith. London: Constable, 1999.
Last modified 15 December 2015