Gissing’s Early Social Novels, 1880–1887

  • Adrian Poole


Gissing’s first novel displays the rift between a set of theoretical allegiances and more immediately felt experience that will be a continuing feature of his work. Yet it is precisely the implications and energy inherent in this rift that enliven the novel’s otherwise intolerable length and gaucheness.


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  1. 2.
    Beatrice Webb, My Apprenticeship (Penguin, 1971) p. 214.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Edith Sichel, ‘Two Philanthropic Novelists: Mr. Walter Besant and Mr. George Gissing’, Murray’s Magazine III (Apr 1888) 506–18; reprinted in Gissing: The Critical Heritage ed. Pierre Coustillas and Colin Partridge (1972) pp. 114–26.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Walter Besant, The Art of Fiction (1884) p. 30.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Frederic Harrison, The Present and the Future: A Positivist Address (1880) p. 41.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780–1950 (1958) pp. 175–6.Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    Ben Tillett, Memories and Reflections (1931) p. 77.Google Scholar
  7. 19.
    Paul Sporn, ‘Gissing’s Demos: Late Victorian Values and the Displacement of Conjugal Love’, Studies in the Novel I (fall 1969) 335.Google Scholar

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© Adrian Poole 1975

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  • Adrian Poole

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