Dealing with the “Dissenting Grocer”

  • Peter Morton

Abstract

In Grant Allen’s personal mythology the natural habitat of “dissenting grocers” is the land of Philistia. As early as 1827 Carlyle and others were using “Philistia” as a label for the most unenlightened or commonplace part of the British populace: “unenlightened” meaning, here, little more than holding views which the writer happened not to agree with. Matthew Arnold gave the term “Philistine” universal currency in Culture und Anarchy (1869), where it denotes a person deficient in liberal culture, “people who most give their lives and thoughts to becoming rich.”

Keywords

Corn Depression Income Gall Straw 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    GA, “Letters in Philistia: A Bourgeois Literature,” Fortnightly Review, 55 (June 1891), 953.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    GA, “Fiction and Mrs. Grundy,” The Novel Review, 2 (July 1892), 294–315.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    George Moore, “A New Censorship of Literature,” Pall Mall Gazette, 40 (December 10, 1884), 1–2. The article generated some correspondence, but few were very sympathetic to Moore’s position. A common response was that Mudie was a businessman not a promoter of the arts, and his customers’ desires were paramount.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    The question of syndication and its effect on authors’ incomes is thoroughly discussed in Graham Law, Serializing Fiction in the Victorian Press, Palgrave, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 10.
    Quoted in Michael Anesko, “Friction with the Market”: Henry James and the Profession of Authorship, Oxford University Press, 1986, 38.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    GA, “The Trade of Author,” Fortnightly Review, 51/45 (February 1889), 273; unsigned.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    GA, “A Literary Causerie,” The Speaker: A Review of Politics, Letters, Science and the Arts, 2 (November 1, 1890), 495–496.Google Scholar
  8. 22.
    “‘The Man that Was Not Allowed,’” National Observer: A Record and Review, 8 (August 6, 1892), 291; unsigned. There is an excellent summary of the strident opinions of the Observer circle in Peter D. McDonald, British Literary Culture and Publishing Practice 1880–1914, Cambridge University Press, 1997, from which some of the following details have been drawn.Google Scholar
  9. 24.
    GA, “The Pot-boiler,” Longman’s Magazine, 20 (October 1892), 591–602.Google Scholar
  10. 26.
    GA, “How to Succeed in Literature,” The Speaker: A Review of Politics, Letters, Science and the Arts, 8 (September 9, 1893), 271–272.Google Scholar
  11. 27.
    GA, “The New Hedonism,” Fortnightly Review, 61 (March 1894), 390. The quotation from The Picture of Dorian Grey is from Ch. 2. One example of a sympathetic but puzzled response was T.G. Bonney’s: reviewing it in the Humanitarian: A Monthly Review of Sociological Science, 5 (July 1894), 106–113, he challenged GA to define his program for individual redemption more closely.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Morton 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Morton

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