George Gissing

George Gissing (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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

George Gissing: Selected full-text books and articles

Gissing By A. C. Ward Longmans, Green & Co., 1959
New Grub Street By George Gissing; John Goode Oxford University, 1998
The Odd Women By George Gissing; Patricia Ingham Oxford University Press, 2000
FREE! By the Ionian Sea By George Gissing T. B. Mosher, 1920
George Gissing: A Critical Study By Frank Swinnerton George H. Doran Company, 1923
The Birth of Liberal Guilt in the English Novel: Charles Dickens to H.G. Wells By Daniel Born University of North Carolina Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "George Gissing: The Apologetics of Disengagement"
The Language of Gender and Class: Transformation in the Victorian Novel By Patricia Ingham Routledge, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Unclassed: Unclassing and Ungendering the Narrator"
George Gissing's Psychology of "Female Imbecility" By Schmidt, Gerald Studies in the Novel, Vol. 37, No. 3, Fall 2005
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Background with Chorus: A Footnote to Changes in English Literary Fashion between 1901 and 1917 By Frank Swinnerton Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1956
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Twelve "From Henry James to Gissing"
The Columbia History of the British Novel By John J. Richetti; John Bender; Deirdre David; Michael Seidel Columbia University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "The Avoidance of Naturalism: Gissing, Moore, Grand, Bennett, and Others" begins on p. 608
A World More Attractive: A View of Modern Literature and Politics By Irving Howe Horizon Press, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "George Gissing: Poet of Fatigue" begins on p. 169
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