George Gissing: New Grub Street

(1833 words)

New Grub Street was published in 1891 to generally favourable reviews. It was widely discussed, made Gissing's reputation, and remains his one acknowledged masterpiece. Yet Gissing did not profit from the book's success: needing money, he had sold the copyright for a hundred and fifty pounds. Ironically, the novel is a sustained, bitter study of the writer's plight in contemporary society. Set in late-Victorian fog-choked London, it depicts a degrading struggle for survival among those who seek to live by print. Its cast consists largely of novelists, journalists, editors, agents, and their family dependants. Its atmosphere is unrelievedly literary. It deals with the drudgery of research, the torments of fictional composition, …

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Grylls, David. "New Grub Street". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 December 2002
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]