Honeymooning in Venice

The newly married George Eliot and John Cross spent part of their honeymoon in the Palazzo Giustinian, Venice
Jumping off the balcony of your hotel room into the Grand Canal is not exactly the conventional way to behave on your honeymoon, but that is what George Eliot's husband, John Cross, did on the morning of June 16th 1880. 

The newly-weds were staying at the Grande Albergo l'Europa (today, the Palazzo Giustinian). Cross leaped with such force that he sailed over the gondolas which were moored below and landed in the middle of the canal. No real harm was done, as he was swiftly rescued by the gondolier who had been rowing the couple around Venice for the previous twelve days. 

Cross's suicide attempt did not come completely out of the blue. Eliot had noticed that her husband had been losing a great deal of weight and that his mood had become agitated and depressed (not really the signs a woman wants to see in her husband during their honeymoon).


John Cross was two decades younger than his famous bride, the writer of Middlemarch, one of the greatest novels in the English language. Eliot, who had become Mrs John Cross, summoned her brother-in-law to join them and the honeymoon continued 
in Verona. 

Today, the Palazzo Giustinian is the HQ of the Venice Biennale.

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