Ruth Abbott

Ruth Abbott

Wallace Fellow
George Eliot, the Florentine Renaissance, and the History of Scholarship
2016 - 2017 (September-December)


Ruth Abbott is University Lecturer in the Long Nineteenth Century at the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research focuses on writers’ notebooks, with special interest in compositional practices, research practices, and reading practices, especially the practice of reading aloud. She has held fellowships at Cornell University, the University of Oxford, and the Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, and she will be taking up a Huntington Library Fellowship and a Cambridge Humanities Research Grant in 2016-17. She is currently working on a new monograph on George Eliot’s commonplace books, George Eliot and the History of Scholarship.

Project Summary

This project concerns the influence of Florentine Renaissance scholarship on the novelist George Eliot, who conducted exhaustive research in Florence herself while preparing to write her historical novel Romola (1862-63), set during the six years that separated the deaths of Lorenzo de’ Medici and Girolamo Savonarola.