George Gissing: Works

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George Gissing at the age of 44 (Elliott & Fry)


  1. Workers in the Dawn (3 vols. London: Remington, 1880) -- A potentially effective realistic story drawn from private experience struggles to break away from the surrounding conventions of sentimental and melodramatic fiction. Gissing's first surviving novel, published at his own expense.
  2. The Unclassed (3 vols. London: Chapman & Hall, 1884) -- The London slums provide a menacing boundary beyond the central figures' tenuous respectability.
  3. Isabel Clarendon (2 vols. London: Chapman & Hall, 1886) -- Gissing's first essentially nonproletarian novel.
  4. Demos (3 vols. London: Smith, Elder, 1886) -- Creates anti-Socialist propaganda out of Gissing's own private obsessions about status and class, and exploits Britain's mid-decade fear of Socialist revolution.
  5. Thyrza (3 vols. London: Smith, Elder, 1887) -- Presents its working-class characters with far more sympathy than Demos.
  6. A Life's Morning (3 vols. London: Smith, Elder, 1888) -- Seems clumsy in its conventional juxtaposition of fashionable life with shabby-genteel existence.
  7. The Nether World (3 vols. London: Smith, Elder, 1889) -- Stresses its characters' nightmarish entrapment in poverty-stricken surroundings.
  8. The Emancipated (3 vols. London: Bentley, 1890) -- Marks Gissing's first unqualified break wih idealizing fiction, in contrast to The Nether World's attempt to subvert idealism from within.
  9. New Grub Street (3 vols. London: Smith, Elder, 1891) -- Gissing depicts the struggle for life, the jealousies and intrigues, of the literary world of his time, and the blighting effect of poverty on artistic endeavour. (The Oxford Companion to English Literature)
  10. Denzil Quarrier (London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1892) -- Centers around the nemesis resulting from the hero's pretended marriage to a woman trapped in wedlock.
  11. Born in Exile (3 vols. London: A. & C. Black, 1892) -- Gissing's finest work as a psychological realist--a portrayer of a subtle mind's complex interaction with a convincing social milieu.
  12. The Odd Women (3 vols. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1893) -- Deals compassionately with the single females or "odd women" relegated to a world of second-rate jobs.
  13. In the Year of Jubilee (3 vols. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1894) -- Attempts to treat problems of courtship and marriage yet suffers from Gissing's distorting resentment toward his second wife.
  14. Eve's Ransom (London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1895) -- Deals rather honestly with an obsession that had distorted much of Gissing's earlier fiction--premature retirement from work for a life of travel and leisure.
  15. The Paying Guest (London: Cassell, 1895) -- Centers around the comic conflict between the Mumfords' fearful gentility and Louise Derrick's spirited vulgarity.
  16. Sleeping Fires (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1895) -- Builds to the ultimate admission by the aristratic heroine that she should not have rejected the hero for having fathered an illegitimate child.
  17. The Whirlpool (London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1897) -- Gissing's most effective attempt at a sensational plot, though melodrama dominates the story of fashionable extramarital intrigues.
  18. Human Odds and Ends, (London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1898) -- a collection of short stories.
  19. Charles Dickens: A Critical Study (London: Blackie, 1898) -- Dickens is an author by whom Gissing had been deeply influenced.
  20. The Town Traveller (London: Methuen, 1898) -- Aims at broad Cockney farce.
  21. The Crown of Life (London: Methuen, 1899) -- Represents a surprising return to the immature "idealism".
  22. Our Friend the Charlatan (London: Chapman & Hall, 1901) -- Satirizes Gissing's "exponent" males, whose gentlemanly manners, superior minds, and brilliant eloquence win them ideal women, ideal wealth, and sometimes even ideal seats in Parliament.
  23. By the Ionian Sea (London: Chapman & Hall, 1901) -- A travel writing. A visit to Italy led to the publication of impressions and experiences under the title.
  24. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (London: Constable, 1903) -- the imaginary journal of a reclus, who enjoys release from poverty and worry, amid books, memories, and reflection.
  25. Veranilda (London: Archibald Constable, 1904) -- published posthumously.
  26. Will Warburton (London: Archibald Constable, 1904) -- published posthumously.
  27. The House of Cobwebs (London: Constable, 1906) -- Offers a genial correction of the Bohemian-artist myth--the moneyless genius who defies social conventions and expands his creative gifts with sex, alcohol, drugs, and defiant nonconformity.
  28. The Sins of the Fathers and Other Tales (1924) -- a collection of short stories.
  29. Critical Studies of the Works of Charles Dickens
  30. The Immortal Dickens (1925) -- A literary criticism.
  31. A Victim of Circumstances and Other Stories (1927)
  32. A Yorkshire Lass (New York, 1928)
  33. Selections Autobiographical and Imaginative from the Works of George Gissing (London, Jonathan Cape, 1929)
  34. Brownie (1931) -- a collection of short stories.
  35. George Gissing: Stories and Sketches (London, Michael Joseph, 1938) -- a collection of short stories.
  36. George Gissing: Essays and Fiction (1970) -- a collection of short stories.
  37. My First Rehearsal and My Clerical Rival (1970) -- a collection of short stories.

* These annotations are taken from Robert L. Selig, George Gissing (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1983)

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