Definitions

Eliot

Eliot

[el-ee-uht, el-yuht]
Eliot, Charles William, 1834-1926, American educator and president of Harvard, b. Boston, grad. Harvard, 1853. In 1854 he was appointed tutor in mathematics at Harvard and in 1858 became assistant professor of mathematics and chemistry. In 1863, Eliot went abroad for two years' study, returning to become professor of chemistry at the new Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Two articles on "The New Education: Its Organization," published in the Atlantic Monthly, were in part responsible for Eliot's election in 1869 to the presidency of Harvard. The corporation's choice of a layman and a scientist, coupled with the fact of Eliot's youth, aroused some opposition.

Under Eliot's 40-year administration, Harvard developed from a small college with attached professional schools into a great modern university. Several notable reforms were introduced in the college: the elective system was extended, the curriculum was enriched through the addition of new courses, written examinations were required, the faculty was enlarged, and strict student discipline was relaxed in favor of flexible regulations. Increased entrance requirements prevailed both in the college and in the professional schools, which Eliot reformed and revitalized. The courses of study were radically revised, and the standards for professional degrees were raised with the able cooperation of such men as Christopher C. Langdell, dean of the law school. New schools were established, including the Bussey Institution (agriculture), schools of applied science, the graduate school of arts and sciences, and the school of business administration. Eliot also supported Elizabeth Cary Agassiz in her project to establish a women's college and then fostered the development of Radcliffe College, which was affiliated with Harvard. He was greatly interested in secondary education, and as chairman of the Committee of Ten, appointed in 1892 by the National Education Association, he was influential in securing a greater degree of uniformity in high school curriculums and college entrance requirements.

After Eliot's resignation in 1909 he turned to public affairs. He had been a strong advocate of civil service reform for many years and was a member of the General Education Board and a trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Among his published works are The Durable Satisfactions of Life (1910, repr. 1969), which presents his religious and ethical views, and The Conflict between Individualism and Collectivism in a Democracy (1910, repr. 1967). His most important papers written before 1914 are reprinted in two volumes, edited by W. A. Neilson, under the title Charles W. Eliot, the Man and His Beliefs (1926), and those since 1914 in A Late Harvest (1924), edited by M. A. De Wolfe Howe. In 1901 he wrote a biography of his son Charles Eliot, 1859-97, a landscape architect, who established a reputation through his work in planning the park system of Greater Boston.

See biography by H. James (1930); S. E. Morison, The Development of Harvard University, 1869-1929 (1930); H. Hawkins, Between Harvard and America: The Educational Leadership of Charles W. Eliot (1972).

Eliot, George, pseud. of Mary Ann or Marian Evans, 1819-80, English novelist, b. Arbury, Warwickshire. One of the great English novelists, she was reared in a strict atmosphere of evangelical Protestantism but eventually rebelled and renounced organized religion totally. Her early schooling was supplemented by assiduous reading, and the study of languages led to her first literary work, Life of Jesus (1846), a translation from the German of D. F. Strauss. After her father's death she became subeditor (1851) of the Westminster Review, contributed articles, and came to know many of the literary people of the day. In 1854 she began a long and happy union with G. H. Lewes, which she regarded as marriage, though it involved social ostracism and could have no legal sanction because Lewes's estranged wife was living. Throughout his life Lewes encouraged Evans in her literary career; indeed, it is possible that without him Evans, subject to periods of depression and in constant need of reassurance, would not have written a word.

In 1856, Mary Ann began Scenes of Clerical Life, a series of realistic sketches first appearing in Blackwood's Magazine under the pseudonym Lewes chose for her, George Eliot. Although not a popular success, the work was well received by literary critics, particularly Dickens and Thackeray. Three novels of provincial life followed—Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), and Silas Marner (1861). She visited Italy in 1860 and again in 1861 before she brought out in the Cornhill Magazine (1862-63) her historical romance Romola, a story of Savonarola. Felix Holt (1866), a political novel, was followed by The Spanish Gypsy (1868), a dramatic poem. Middlemarch (1871-72), a portrait of life in a provincial town, is considered her masterpiece. She wrote one more novel, Daniel Deronda (1876); the satirical Impressions of Theophrastus Such (1879); and verse, which was never popular and is now seldom read. Lewes died in 1878, and in 1880 she married a close friend of both Lewes and herself, John W. Cross, who later edited George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals (3 vol., 1885-86). Writing about life in small rural towns, George Eliot was primarily concerned with the responsibility that people assume for their lives and with the moral choices they must inevitably make. Although highly serious, her novels are marked by compassion and a subtle humor.

See her letters (ed. by G. S. Haight, 7 vol., 1954-56); her collected essays (ed. by T. Pinney, 1964); biographies by L. and E. Hanson (1952), G. S. Haight (1968), F. R. Karl (1995), R. Ashton (1997), and K. Hughes (1999); studies by E. S. Haldane (1927), J. Thale (1959), B. Hardy (1967), D. Carroll, ed. (1971), T. S. Pearce (1973), and G. Beer (1983).

Eliot, Sir John, 1592-1632, English parliamentary leader. He was a staunch defender of parliamentary liberties. Eliot instituted (1626) the impeachment proceedings against Charles I's favorite, the 1st duke of Buckingham, and joined Sir Edward Coke and others in promoting the Petition of Right, which was presented to the king in 1628. In 1629 he read a protest in the House of Commons against arbitrary taxation and the advance of "popery," while the speaker was held in the chair by force in defiance of the king's order of adjournment. Eliot was committed to the Tower of London where he died three years later.
Eliot, John, 1604-90, English missionary in colonial Massachusetts, called the Apostle to the Indians. Educated at Cambridge, he was influenced by Thomas Hooker, became a staunch Puritan, and emigrated from England. Arriving in Boston in 1631, he became pastor at the church in Roxbury in 1632 and held that position the rest of his life. He studied the Native American language spoken around Roxbury and was soon preaching in it. His determination to Christianize the Native Americans led him to establish villages for the converts—the "praying Indians"—with simple civic and religious organization. He won the aid of the colonial authorities and achieved the founding in England of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England under the auspices of Parliament. Funds and workers came to him, and he and his helpers founded some 14 communities on lands granted for the purpose. The most prominent and successful was at Natick. King Philip's War (1675-76) caught the "praying Indians" between the hostile tribes and the native-hating whites and all but wiped them out. White settlements took over most of the villages. The pamphlets by Eliot and, even more, his translation of the Bible into an Algonquian language usually called Natick (1661-63; the first Bible printed in North America) and his Indian Primer (1669) are prime sources of later knowledge of the peoples of Massachusetts. Eliot also helped to write the Bay Psalm Book.

See biographies by C. Francis (1849), repr. 1969), C. Beals (1957), and O. E. Winslow (1968).

Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns Eliot), 1888-1965, American-British poet and critic, b. St. Louis, Mo. One of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th cent., T. S. Eliot won the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature. He studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford. In 1914 he established residence in London and in 1927 became a British subject. After working as a teacher and a bank clerk he began a publishing career; he was assistant editor of the Egoist (1917-19) and edited his own quarterly, the Criterion (1922-39). In 1925 he was employed by the publishing house of Faber and Faber, eventually becoming one of its directors. His first marriage, to Vivienne Haigh-Wood in 1915, was troubled, and ended with their separation in 1933. His subsequent marriage to Valerie Fletcher in 1957 was far more successful.

Eliot's early poetical works—Prufrock and Other Observations (1917), Poems (1920), and The Waste Land (1922)—express the anguish and barrenness of modern life and the isolation of the individual, particularly as reflected in the failure of love. The Waste Land, whose published version reflects extraordinary editing by Eliot's friend Ezra Pound, compelled immediate critical attention. His complex early poems, employing myths, religious symbolism, and literary allusion, signified a break with 19th-century poetic traditions. Their models were the metaphysical poets, Dante, the Jacobean dramatists, and French symbolists. Their meter ranged from the lyrical to the conversational. In his later poetry, notably Ash Wednesday (1930) and the Four Quartets (1935-42), Eliot turned from spiritual desolation to hope for human salvation. He accepted religious faith as a solution to the human dilemma and espoused Anglo-Catholicism in 1927.

Eliot was an extraordinarily influential critic, rejecting Romantic notions of unfettered originality and arguing for the impersonality of great art. His later criticism attempts to support Christian culture against what he saw as the empty and fragmented values of secularism. His outstanding critical works are contained in such volumes as The Sacred Wood (1920), For Lancelot Andrewes (1928), Selected Essays, 1917-1932 (1932), The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933), Elizabethan Essays (1934), Essays Ancient and Modern (1936), and Notes towards a Definition of Culture (1948). Eliot's plays attempt to revitalize verse drama and usually treat the same themes as in his poetry. They include Murder in the Cathedral (1935), dealing with the final hours of Thomas à Becket; The Family Reunion (1939); The Cocktail Party (1950); The Confidential Clerk (1954); and The Elder Statesman (1959). His complete poems and plays appeared in 1969, his letters in 1988, and his previously unpublished early poems (1909-17) in 1996.

See biographies by B. Bergonzi (1971), P. Ackroyd (1984), L. Gordon (rev. ed. 1999), and C. Raine (2006); studies by D. E. Jones (1960), E. M. Browne (1969), J. D. Margolis (1972), A. W. Litz (1973), E. Schneider (1975), C. Bedient (1987), J. Olney (1988), A. Julius (1996), and D. Donoghue (2000); bibliographies by D. Gallup (rev. ed. 1969) and B. Ricks (1980); biography of Vivienne Eliot (2002) by C. Seymour-Jones.

Feld, Eliot, 1942-, American dancer and choreographer, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. As a teenager he danced in musicals, notably West Side Story on Broadway and film, and on television. While a dancer (1963-68) with the American Ballet Theatre he debuted (1967) as a choreographer with Harbinger and At Midnight. He soon formed his own group, the American Ballet Company (1969-71), and in 1973 established the Eliot Feld Ballet (later Feld Ballets/NY). This company, which became internationally known, was reformed as Ballet Tech in 1997. Feld, who has also made dances for many leading ensembles, is known for his innovative choreography, and has increasingly mingled ballet with vernacular urban styles such as jazz, rock, break dancing, and hip hop. Among his more than 100 works are Intermezzo (1969), Jive (1973), Grand Canon (1984), Yo Shakespeare (1997), and Lincoln Portrait (2002).

(born Sept. 26, 1888, St. Louis, Mo., U.S.—died Jan. 4, 1965, London, Eng.) U.S.-British poet, playwright, and critic. Eliot studied at Harvard University before moving to England in 1914, where he would work as an editor from the early 1920s until his death. His first important poem, and the first modernist masterpiece in English, was the radically experimental “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915). The Waste Land (1922), which expresses with startling power the disillusionment of the postwar years, made his international reputation. His first critical volume, The Sacred Wood (1920), introduced concepts much discussed in later critical theory. He married in 1915; his wife was mentally unstable, and they separated in 1933. (He married again, happily, in 1957.) His conversion to Anglicanism in 1927 shaped all his subsequent works. His last great work was Four Quartets (1936–42), four poems on spiritual renewal and the connections of the personal and historical past and present. Influential later essays include “The Idea of a Christian Society” (1939) and “Notes Towards the Definition of Culture” (1948). His play Murder in the Cathedral (1935) is a verse treatment of St. Thomas Becket's martyrdom; his other plays, including The Cocktail Party (1950), are lesser works. From the 1920s on he was the most influential English-language modernist poet. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948; from then until his death he achieved public admiration unequaled by any other 20th-century poet.

Learn more about Eliot, T(homas) S(tearns) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Sept. 26, 1888, St. Louis, Mo., U.S.—died Jan. 4, 1965, London, Eng.) U.S.-British poet, playwright, and critic. Eliot studied at Harvard University before moving to England in 1914, where he would work as an editor from the early 1920s until his death. His first important poem, and the first modernist masterpiece in English, was the radically experimental “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915). The Waste Land (1922), which expresses with startling power the disillusionment of the postwar years, made his international reputation. His first critical volume, The Sacred Wood (1920), introduced concepts much discussed in later critical theory. He married in 1915; his wife was mentally unstable, and they separated in 1933. (He married again, happily, in 1957.) His conversion to Anglicanism in 1927 shaped all his subsequent works. His last great work was Four Quartets (1936–42), four poems on spiritual renewal and the connections of the personal and historical past and present. Influential later essays include “The Idea of a Christian Society” (1939) and “Notes Towards the Definition of Culture” (1948). His play Murder in the Cathedral (1935) is a verse treatment of St. Thomas Becket's martyrdom; his other plays, including The Cocktail Party (1950), are lesser works. From the 1920s on he was the most influential English-language modernist poet. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948; from then until his death he achieved public admiration unequaled by any other 20th-century poet.

Learn more about Eliot, T(homas) S(tearns) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born July 9, 1887, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died May 15, 1976, Boston) U.S. biographer and historian. He taught at Harvard University for 40 years. To give authenticity to his writings on maritime history, he undertook numerous voyages and during wartime served on 12 ships as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. His works include Admiral of the Ocean Sea (1942, Pulitzer Prize), on Christopher Columbus; John Paul Jones (1959, Pulitzer Prize); the monumental History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II, 15 vol. (1947–62); and The Oxford History of the American People (1965).

Learn more about Morison, Samuel Eliot with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born July 9, 1887, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died May 15, 1976, Boston) U.S. biographer and historian. He taught at Harvard University for 40 years. To give authenticity to his writings on maritime history, he undertook numerous voyages and during wartime served on 12 ships as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. His works include Admiral of the Ocean Sea (1942, Pulitzer Prize), on Christopher Columbus; John Paul Jones (1959, Pulitzer Prize); the monumental History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II, 15 vol. (1947–62); and The Oxford History of the American People (1965).

Learn more about Morison, Samuel Eliot with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born 1604, Widford, Hertfordshire, Eng.—died May 21, 1690, Roxbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony) English Puritan missionary to the Indians of Massachusetts Bay Colony. He emigrated to Boston in 1631 and became pastor of a church in nearby Roxbury. Supported by his congregation and fellow ministers, he began a mission to the American Indians that inspired the creation in 1649 of the first genuine missionary society (financed chiefly from England). His methods set the pattern of subsequent Native American missions for almost two centuries. His translation of the Bible into the Algonquian language was the first Bible printed in North America.

Learn more about Eliot, John with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Ann Evans later Marian Evans

George Eliot, chalk drawing by F.W. Burton, 1865; in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

(born Nov. 22, 1819, Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, Eng.—died Dec. 22, 1880, London) British novelist. Eliot was raised with a strong evangelical piety but broke with religious orthodoxy in her 20s. She worked as a translator, a critic, and a subeditor of the Westminster Review (1851–54). Later she turned to fiction. Adopting a masculine pseudonym to evade prejudice against women novelists, she first brought out Scenes of Clerical Life (1858). This was followed by such classic works as Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862–63), Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), and Daniel Deronda (1876). Her masterpiece, Middlemarch (1871–72), provides a thorough study of every class of provincial society. The method of psychological analysis she developed would become characteristic of modern fiction. With the journalist, philosopher, and critic George Henry Lewes (1817–78), a married man, she enjoyed a long and happy, though scandalous, liaison; their Sunday-afternoon salons were a brilliant feature of Victorian life.

Learn more about Eliot, George with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born 1604, Widford, Hertfordshire, Eng.—died May 21, 1690, Roxbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony) English Puritan missionary to the Indians of Massachusetts Bay Colony. He emigrated to Boston in 1631 and became pastor of a church in nearby Roxbury. Supported by his congregation and fellow ministers, he began a mission to the American Indians that inspired the creation in 1649 of the first genuine missionary society (financed chiefly from England). His methods set the pattern of subsequent Native American missions for almost two centuries. His translation of the Bible into the Algonquian language was the first Bible printed in North America.

Learn more about Eliot, John with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Mary Ann Evans later Marian Evans

George Eliot, chalk drawing by F.W. Burton, 1865; in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

(born Nov. 22, 1819, Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, Eng.—died Dec. 22, 1880, London) British novelist. Eliot was raised with a strong evangelical piety but broke with religious orthodoxy in her 20s. She worked as a translator, a critic, and a subeditor of the Westminster Review (1851–54). Later she turned to fiction. Adopting a masculine pseudonym to evade prejudice against women novelists, she first brought out Scenes of Clerical Life (1858). This was followed by such classic works as Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862–63), Felix Holt, the Radical (1866), and Daniel Deronda (1876). Her masterpiece, Middlemarch (1871–72), provides a thorough study of every class of provincial society. The method of psychological analysis she developed would become characteristic of modern fiction. With the journalist, philosopher, and critic George Henry Lewes (1817–78), a married man, she enjoyed a long and happy, though scandalous, liaison; their Sunday-afternoon salons were a brilliant feature of Victorian life.

Learn more about Eliot, George with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 20, 1834, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died Aug. 22, 1926, Northeast Harbor, Maine) U.S. educator and influential university president. He studied at Harvard University and taught mathematics and chemistry there (1858–63) and at MIT (1865–69). Eliot was named president of Harvard in 1869 after studying European educational systems, and he soon set about a program of fundamental reforms. He demanded a place for the sciences in liberal education, and he replaced the program of required courses for undergraduates with the elective system. Under Eliot, the graduate school of arts and sciences was created (1890), Radcliffe College was established (1894), the quality of the professional schools was raised, and the university became an institution of world renown. His reforms had widespread influence in American higher education. After resigning in 1909, he edited the 50-volume Harvard Classics (1909–10), wrote several books, and devoted himself to public service.

Learn more about Eliot, Charles William with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 20, 1834, Boston, Mass., U.S.—died Aug. 22, 1926, Northeast Harbor, Maine) U.S. educator and influential university president. He studied at Harvard University and taught mathematics and chemistry there (1858–63) and at MIT (1865–69). Eliot was named president of Harvard in 1869 after studying European educational systems, and he soon set about a program of fundamental reforms. He demanded a place for the sciences in liberal education, and he replaced the program of required courses for undergraduates with the elective system. Under Eliot, the graduate school of arts and sciences was created (1890), Radcliffe College was established (1894), the quality of the professional schools was raised, and the university became an institution of world renown. His reforms had widespread influence in American higher education. After resigning in 1909, he edited the 50-volume Harvard Classics (1909–10), wrote several books, and devoted himself to public service.

Learn more about Eliot, Charles William with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Eliot is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 5,954 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Eliot is home to Littlebrook Air Park and the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum.

History

Originally part of the Piscataqua Plantation (renamed Kittery in 1647) called Sturgeon Creek in the 1630-40s, it became the North, or Second, Parish of Kittery in 1713 following the incorporation of Berwick. On March 1, 1810, Eliot became a town. The town was either named after Robert Eliot, who was a member of the Provincial Council of New Hampshire, or for Reverend John Eliot of Boston, a friend of General Andrew P. Fernald, the town agent largely responsible for its separation.

Notable residents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.3 square miles (55.1 km²), of which, 19.7 square miles (51.1 km²) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (4.0 km²) of it (7.29%) is water. Eliot is drained by Sturgeon Creek and the Piscataqua River.

Eliot is located on Route 103, northwest of Interstate 95 and is near the New Hampshire border.

Demographics

See also: South Eliot, Maine

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,954 people, 2,307 households, and 1,704 families residing in the town. The population density was 302.0 people per square mile (116.6/km²). There were 2,418 housing units at an average density of 122.6/sq mi (47.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.44% White, 0.22% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49% of the population.

There were 2,307 households out of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.1% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $52,606, and the median income for a family was $63,598. Males had a median income of $44,205 versus $30,530 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,403. About 5.2% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

Voter Registration: 35.05% Republican. 22.63% Democrat. 1.39% Green.

Site of interest

References

External links

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