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 his letters ed. by P. F. Mattheisen et al. (9 vol., 1990–97); his diary ed. by P. Coustillas (1978); biography by P. Coustillas (3 vol., 2011–12); studies by F. Swinnerton (3d ed. 1966), and P. Coustillas and C. Partridge, ed. (1972); G. Tindall (1974); bibliography by P. Coustillas (2005).

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 ?
Victorian author George Gissing, who was born in the next street to me in Wakefield, has one, even though his novels were so depressing they never made his fortune.
Inspector John Kildare (Bill Nighy) is promoted to lead investigator and as the case gathers pace, evidence focuses on four suspects: journalist John Cree (Sam Reid), music hall performer Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), novelist George Gissing (Morgan Watkins) and philosopher Karl Marx (Henry Goodman).
As the case gathers pace, evidence focuses attention on four prime suspects: journalist John Cree (Sam Reid), music hall performer Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), novelist George Gissing (Morgan Watkins) and philosopher Karl Marx (Henry Goodman).
Evidence points to four suspects: journalist John Cree (Sam Reid), music hall performer Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), novelist George Gissing (Morgan Watkins) and philosopher Karl Marx (Henry Goodman).
15. "I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things." - George Gissing
She compares herself to Rhoda Nunn, who forsakes marriage and motherhood with startling consequences, in George Gissing's 1893 novel The Odd Women.
This makes sense, since she is a critic as well as a memoirist; her 1997 collection The End of the Novel of Love argues that "love as a metaphor is an act of nostalgia, not of discovery"--the anti-nostalgic perspective again--while The Men in My Life (2008) features essays, from a feminist perspective, about the male writers who have inspired and infuriated her, including Philip Roth, James Baldwin and George Gissing.
The book closes with a brief conclusion that offers glimpses of the works of writers including George Gissing, George Moore, and George Meredith, who were also drawing on the world of art to offer their audiences "new forms of reading" (163).
His dissertation examines how and why Charles Dickens and George Gissing chose to represent urban filth in surprisingly unpleasant detail.
Wells, ensured by their writings that it remained in the public eye, while vegetarians figured in novels such as Mary Ward's best-selling The History of David Grieve [1892] and George Gissing's The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft [1903].
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.
In "'The Truth About Gissing': Reassessing the Literary Friendship of George Gissing and H.