No statues bruised in Nuneaton

So some people did protect a statue of a feminist woman writer (not exactly a poet), even though it didn’t actually need protecting. Story partially true. Literary Hub explains:

Worldwide protests ignited by the death of George Floyd have continued, including in Nuneaton, Warkwickshire, where a group of locals thought they were protecting a statue of George Eliot over the weekend.

Valiant defenders of this bronze effigy popped up following incidents in which Black Lives Matter supporters took down a statue of a 17th-century slave trader in Bristol and tagged a monument of Winston Churchill with the words “is a racist” in central London.

The people guarding the Eliot statue in Nuneaton were presumably operating on the assumption that Black Lives Matter protestors despise all statues as much as they hate police brutality.

An easy mistake to make. Here’s the deal: the problem isn’t the statue-ness, it’s the involvement in slavery or imperialist brutality or the like. George Eliot didn’t buy and sell slaves, nor did she admire or celebrate men who did.

George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, was one of the Victorian era’s great writers and a supporter of the anti-slavery movement. She had a long, epistolary friendship with Harriet Beecher Stowe and questioned the morality of slavery in her 1862 novel Romola.

She was way out on the left end of the Victorian political spectrum.

H/t Richard

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