George Gissing, Sleeping Fires

Gareth Reeves (University of Durham)
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A minor work produced during Gissing’s “major phase” (from 1889’s

The Nether World

to 1897’s

The Whirlpool


Sleeping Fires

(1895) is of interest to Gissing scholars because of the author’s revisitation of class-related themes from his earliest work. The text thus offers an intriguing glance backwards from a mature vantage point. The author wrote twenty-three novels in total, excluding the unfinished



Sleeping Fires

represents one of Gissing’s rare attempts to write at novella length, a surprising departure for an author accustomed to writing in the three-volume format, which was declining in popularity in the 1890s. The work presents a social milieu not generally associated with Gissing, featuring some characters belonging to the leisured class and…

1768 words

Citation: Reeves, Gareth. "Sleeping Fires". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 May 2024 [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

2007 Sleeping Fires 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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