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Famous Like Me > Writer > G > George Gissing

Profile of George Gissing on Famous Like Me

Name: George Gissing  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 22nd November 1857
Place of Birth: Yorkshire, England, UK
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

George Gissing (November 22, 1857 – December 28, 1903) was a British novelist. Although Victorian in chronological terms, his work marked a trend towards the cynicism of the 20th century novel. His best known work, considered his masterpiece, is New Grub Street.

He was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and won a scholarship to Owens College, a Quaker school and the predecessor of the University of Manchester. A promising student, he did well, but his tenure as a student was affected when he became involved with a local prostitute, Marianne Harrison. With little money to spare, Gissing engaged in theft, stealing from other students in order to support her. In 1876, he was caught, convicted of theft, and forced to leave the university; he spent a short time in prison. Afterwards, he emigrated to the United States, where he began his career as a writer, having some short stories published in the Chicago Tribune.

On returning to Britain, he married Marianne, with whom he had little in common. Although he succeeded in having several novels published, he was forced to work as a teacher to make ends meet. In 1883, he separated from his wife, now an alcoholic; she died in 1888.

In 1890, he re-married, to an equally unsuitable working-class woman, from whom he separated in 1897; in 1902, she was certified insane. About this time, he began to move away from novels about poverty (the focus of his fiction to date) and began to explore the problems of men like himself -- well-educated, middle-class, but with no money and little means of self-support. The Odd Women deals with middle-class women in a similar position.

He struck up a friendship with emancipator Clara Collet but, while visiting Paris in 1898 (he had moved to France because he could not afford to divorce his second wife), he met Gabrielle Fleury, and went to live with her for the remainder of his life.


  • Workers in the Dawn (1880)
  • The Unclassed (1884)
  • Demos (1886)
  • Thyrza (1887)
  • A Life's Morning (1888)
  • The Nether World (1889)
  • The Emancipated (1890)
  • New Grub Street (1891)
  • Denzil Quarrier (1892)
  • Born In Exile (1892)
  • The Odd Women (1893)
  • In the Year of Jubilee (1894)
  • Eve's Ransom (1895)
  • The Paying Guest (1895)
  • The Whirlpool (1897)
  • The Town Traveller (1898)
  • Charles Dickens: a Critical Study (1898)
  • The Crown Of Life (1899)
  • By the Ionian Sea (1901)
  • Our Friend the Charlatan (1901)
  • The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (1903)
  • Will Warburton (1905)
  • Veranilda (1903, unfinished)


  • Judith Flanders. Inside the Victorian Home: a Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004.

External Links

  • Online editions of his works
  • The George Gissing Website

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article George Gissing