George Eliot's home

Cheyne Walk

Chelsea, London SW3

Eliot was drawn to the house largely, it seems, for its "outlook on the river and meadows beyond" (297), thinking the Thames "very picturesque" at that point (285), and describing the house itself as "quaint" (300). She and her new husband, John Cross, leased it in the spring of 1880, intending to spend the summer at The Heights in Witley, and getting "Mr Armitage of Manchester" to superintend its "decoration and furnishing, but not to the exclusion of old things, which we must carry and stow, especially wallings of books" (300). But in the very same letter in which she explains this, she also talks of her poor health. A brief note in the journal reports that after some delay, she and Cross finally moved in on 3 December 1880. She found the climate better in London, and they were settling down well, and already receiving friends, when she got a chill from attending a concert and died on 22 December. Although they actually lived there less than three weeks, 4 Cheyne Walk is still thought of as her London home, and is best known as such. [Mouse over text for links.]

Photograph by George P. Landow. Text by Jacqueline Banerjee

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