Other books byGeorge Gissing
One of the foremost fiction writers in the genre of Victorian realism, George Gissing wrote several of the most notable novels of the era, including New Grub Street and Born in Exile. The short novel Eve's Ransom is a classic story of misbegotten love wherein an impressionable young man falls for -- and attempts desperately to win over -- a woman who appears to be all wrong for him.
The Odd Women
Five odd womenâwomen without husbandsâare the subject of this powerful novel, set in Victorian London, by a writer whose perceptions about people, particularly women, would be remarkable in any age and are extraordinary in the 1890s. The story concerns the choices that five different women have to make and what those choices imply about men's and women's status in society and relationship to each other. Alice and Virginia Madden, suddenly left adrift by the death of their improvident father, must take grinding and humiliating "genteel" work. Terrified of sharing their fate, their younger sister Monica accepts a proposal of marriage from a man who gives her financial security but makes her life wretched. Interwoven with their fortunes are Mary Barfoot and Rhoda Nunn, who are dedicating their lives to training young women in skills they can use to support themselves. Their broader aim is to help free both sexes from whatever distorts or depletes their humanityâincluding, if necessary, marriage. Into their lives comes Mary's forceful and engaging cousin, Everard Barfoot, and as he and Rhoda become locked in an increasingly significant and passionate struggle, Rhoda finds out through the refining fire what "love" sometimes means and what it means to be true to herself.
The Crown of Life
Critics regard George Gissing as one of the most important writers of the Victorian era. Over the course of his career, he emerged as one of the most significant innovators in the literary genre of realism. In The Crown of Life, one of his later works, Gissing explores human relationships, and in particular, marriage, with the keen eye for detail and piercing insight that are his hallmarks.