George Eliot (November 22, 1819 – December 22, 1880)
Edith Jemima Simcox (21 August 1844 – 15 September 1901) was a British writer, trade union activist, and early feminist. In 1875 she and Emma Paterson became the first women to attend the Trades Union Congress as delegates. She lived at 60 Dean Street, London. From 1879-1882 she was a member of the London School Board representing Westminster. George Augustus Simcox and William Henry Simcox were her brothers. Simcox uses her journal as a private diary in which she confides personal matters, including her secret love for the novelist George Eliot (1819-1880) and her pain that the love is not returned. Simcox's journal entries continued for nineteen years after Eliot's death on December 22, 1880. Edith Simcox loved Eliot sexually and nonsexually although Eliot returned her love in neither sense, and Simcox sustained many positive nonsexual relationships with women who reciprocated her friendship. In her public life Simcox dedicated her time, energy, and writing to worthwhile causes that would improve the survival and wholeness of men and women, but especially to help provide better economic, educational, and social opportunities for women. Simcox loved George Eliot, who was twenty-five years older than she, from the time they met in 1872, when Simcox was preparing her review of Middlemarch, until her own death on September 15, 1901. On July 16, 1878, she writes: "The history of the years I have known her might be told in two words--Love and Pain--endless, intense". In the first entry of the Autobiography, dated March 1876, Simcox acknowledges that her love avails nothing; on May 13, 1880 she mentions having received an "unhappy letter" in which Eliot referred to herself as "a wife with a wife's supreme and sufficing love"; and Eliot frequently strongly recommended that Simcox renounce her love and find herself a husband.
Timeline & Places:
• November 22, 1819: born.
• 1830s: attended Royal Holloway, Egham Hill, Egham TW20 0EX, Regno Unito
• 1870s: lived at 31 Wimbledon Park Rd, London SW18 5SJ, Regno Unito
• 1880: lived at 4 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London SW3 5QZ, Regno Unito
• December 22, 1880: died. Buried at Highgate Cemetery, Swain's Ln, Highgate, London N6 6PJ, Regno Unito. Memorial at Westminster Abbey, 20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, Regno Unito