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George Gissing

George GissingAKA George Robert Gissing

Born: 22-Nov-1857
Birthplace: Wakefield, Yorkshire, England
Died: 28-Jan-1903
Location of death: Saint-Jean de Luz, France
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Saint Jean Pied de Port, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Novelist

Nationality: England
Executive summary: New Grub Street

English novelist, was born at Wakefield on the 22nd of November 1857. He was educated at the Quaker boarding-school of Alderley Edge and at Owens College, Manchester. His life, especially its earlier period, was spent in great poverty, mainly in London, though he was for a time also in the United States, supporting himself chiefly by private teaching. He published his first novel, Workers in the Dawn, in 1880. The Unclassed (1884) and Isabel Clarendon (1886) followed. Demos (1886), a novel dealing with socialistic ideas, was, however, the first to attract attention. It was followed by a series of novels remarkable for their pictures of lower middle class life. Gissing's own experiences had preoccupied him with poverty and its brutalizing effects on character. He made no attempt at popular writing, and for a long time the sincerity of his work was appreciated only by a limited public. Among his more characteristic novels were: Thyrza (1887). A Life's Morning (1888), The Nether World (1889), and New Grub Street (1891), considered by many one of his best. Others, e.g. The Town Traveller (1901), indicate a humorous faculty, but the prevailing note of his novels is that of the struggling life of the shabby-genteel and lower classes and the conflict between education and circumstances. The spoof autobiographical Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (1903) reflects throughout Gissing's studious and retiring tastes. He was a good classical scholar and had a minute acquaintance with the late Latin historians, and with Italian antiquities; and his posthumous Veranilda (1904), a historical romance of Italy in the time of Theodoric the Goth, was the outcome of his favorite studies. Gissing's powers as a literary critic are shown in his admirable study on Charles Dickens, published in 1898. A book of travel, By the Ionian Sea, appeared in 1901. He died at St. Jean de Luz in the Pyrenees on the 28th of December 1903.

Wife: Marianne Harrison ("Nell", prostitute, m. 1879)
Wife: Edith Underwood (servant, m. 1891, separated 1897, two sons)
Girlfriend: Gabrielle Fleury (Frenchwoman, dated 1898 onward)

    University: Owens College, Manchester

    Theft 1876 (convicted)
    Risk Factors: Sciatica

Author of books:
Workers in the Dawn (1880, novel)
The Unclassed (1884, novel)
Isabel Clarendon (1886, novel)
Demos (1886, novel)
Thyrza (1887, novel)
A Life's Morning (1888, novel)
The Nether World (1889, novel)
The Emancipated (1890, novel)
New Grub Street (1891, novel)
Denzil Quarrier (1892, novel)
Born In Exile (1892, novel)
The Odd Women (1893, novel)
In the Year of Jubilee (1894, novel)
Eve's Ransom (1895, novel)
Sleeping Fires (1895, novel)
The Paying Guest (1896, novel)
The Whirlpool (1897, novel)
The Town Traveller (1898, novel)
Charles Dickens: a Critical Study (1898, criticism)
The Crown Of Life (1899, novel)
By the Ionian Sea (1901, travelogue)
Our Friend the Charlatan (1901, novel)
The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (1903, novel, fake autobiography)
Veranilda (1904, novel)
Will Warburton (1905, novel)



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