George Gissing

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Gissing, George

(gĭs`ĭng), 1857–1903, English novelist. His promising future as a scholar was curtailed by his expulsion from Owens College (later the Univ. of Manchester) because of his association with a young prostitute whom he later married. Years of poverty and hard work followed. He visited America in 1876–77 and wrote several short stories for the Chicago Tribune. Gissing was the foremost English exponent of naturalism often focusing on social issues—poverty, the exploitation of women, the effects of industrialization. His personal bitterness at his years of unhappiness often surfaces in his novels. New Grub Street (1891), his best-known work, depicts the dilemma of the poverty-stricken artist in an alien world. Other works include Thyrza (1887), The Nether World (1889), Born in Exile (1892), and The Whirlpool (1897). In By the Ionian Sea (1901) and in the somewhat autobiographic Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (1903), Gissing reveals his love of books and the past. His excellent critical study (1898) of Charles Dickens, whose works greatly influenced him, is still read.


See studies by F. Swinnerton (3d ed. 1966), and P. Coustillas and C. Partridge, ed. (1972); G. Tindall (1974).

Gissing, George


Born Nov. 22, 1857, in Wakefield; died Dec. 28, 1903, in St.-Jean-de-Luz, France. English writer.

Gissing described his life in the East End slums in the novels Workers in the Dawn (1880), The Déclassé (1884), Thyrza (vols. 1-3, 1887; Russian translation, 1893), and The Nether World (vols. 1-3, 1889). His best-known novel, Demos: A Story of English Socialism (1886), is distinguished by its antidemocratic tendency. The tragic position of the writer in bourgeois society is depicted in the novel New Grub Street (vols. 1-3, 1891; translated into Russian as Martyrs of the Pen, 1891). Gissing was influenced by Charles Dickens as well as by French naturalistic novels.


Selections. [Edited by V. Woolf and A. Gissing.] London, 1929.
Letters to the Members of His Family. London, 1927.
In Russian translation:
Demos. Vestnik Evropy, 1891, nos. 1-5.


Zinner, E. P. “Tvorchestvo Dzh. Gissinga.” Uch. zap, Leningradskogo ped. in-ta im. A. I. Gertsena: Kafedra vseobshchei literaturi, 1938, vol. 15.
Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958.
Donnelly, M. C. George Gissing: Grave Comedian. Cambridge (Mass.) and London, 1954.
Collected Articles on George Gissing. London, 1968.


References in periodicals archive ?
The collection enables researchers to consult the original context of serialized literature and journalism by Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, George Eliot, George Gissing, Thomas Hardy, Anthony Trollope, H.
By coincidence, in the next street, Thomson's Yard, Victorian novelist George Gissing was born in a similar house that is now run by a trust to commemorate his life and writing.
His dissertation examines how and why Charles Dickens and George Gissing chose to represent urban filth in surprisingly unpleasant detail.
The story resembles Edmund Gosse's Father and Son and some of the works of William Hale White or George Gissing in which an individual, in Jeanette Winterson's ease, a daughter, is shown as the captive of a narrow religious community from which the hero(ine) eventually breaks free.
The men in Gornick's life are not ones she has met on dating sites, but ones--like George Gissing, H.
Emma Liggins examines the narratives produced by the research of female social investigators like Clara Collet, and of feminists like Clementina Black, comparing them with, and tracing their influence upon, fictional accounts of the London work girl written by writers such as George Gissing and Margaret Harkness in the 1880s and 1890s.
Kirk also drew a political comparison between Orwell and George Gissing, the nineteenth-century British novelist:
Wells and its comparisons of country shabbiness with city equivocation, the material cultures explained by George Gissing, the boxes within boxes of the urban landscape of Joseph Conrad, and of course the appearance of high civilization of James's London and Paris, contrasted with the reality of city as theater and facade, with the ugliness of working class life always near.
Yet George Gissing (1857-1903) is unknown to many, perhaps most, of the reading public.
In September 1897, George Gissing had just fled his miserable second marriage and escaped to Italy.
In tracing the literary representations of spinsters she uses some rewarding sources including writings by Florence Nightingale as well as novels by Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Gissing.
Nearby sits the young George Gissing, married to an alcoholic prostitute whose sordid life causes him to be a suspect in the murders and eventually lands him in jail.