Fair Seed-Time is a major re-interpretation of the historical background to the writings of George Eliot. It rejects several oft-repeated myths about the early 19th Century Midland world in which George Eliot grew up, emphasises the importance of a previously neglected character in that world, Francis Newdigate, and provides a detailed insight into the life of Eliot’s father, Robert Evans. It shows how he rose socially throughout his life and how he played a significant role in the professional development of early 19th Century Land Agents. It provides detailed and carefully-argued evidence to illustrate how his life and work profoundly influenced George Eliot’s novels, from which there are many quotations.
The author has delved into previously unread historical diaries and many other original and previously little used sources to bring alive the rapidly changing economic and social world of the early nineteenth century in general and north Warwickshire in particular. The result will be of interest both to general and local historians of this period, those concerned with the evolution of land agency as a profession, and to all students of literature, and especially George Eliot scholars, because of the fresh insights into her work.