Book: George Gissing «The Crown Of Life»

The Crown Of Life

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Yet, before his marriage, he had lived, if anything, more laxly than the average man, and to his wife he had confessed (strange memory nowadays), that he owed to her a moral redemption. His morality, in fact, no one doubted; the suspicions Mrs. Hannaford had once entertained when his coldness to her began, she now knew to be baseless. Absorbed in meditations upon bloodshed and havoc, he held high the ideal of chastity, and, in company agreeableto him, could allude to it as the safeguard of civil life. Книга представляет собой репринтное издание 1899 года (издательство "New York, F. A. Stokes company" ). Несмотря на то, что была проведена серьезная работа по восстановлению первоначального качества издания, на некоторых страницах могут обнаружиться небольшие" огрехи" :помарки, кляксы и т. п.

Издательство: "Книга по Требованию" (1899)

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George Gissing

George Gissing (IPAEng|ˈɡɪsɪŋ; November 22, 1857 – December 28, 1903) was an English novelist who wrote twenty-three novels between 1880 and 1903. From his his early naturalistic works, he developed into one of the most accomplished realists of the late-Victorian era.


Early life

Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, to lower-middle class parents, Gissing went on to win a scholarship to Owens College, the present day University of Manchester. A brilliant student, he excelled at university, winning many coveted prizes, including the Shakespeare prize in 1875. When it looked as if he would go on to gain even more distinguished honours as a student and as an academic, he fell in love with a prostitute, Marianne Helen Harrison. As he lacked the means to support her himself, Gissing began to steal from his fellow students. At length, he was caught, convicted of theft, and forced to leave the university; he was sentenced to one month's hard labour in prison. In October 1876, thanks largely to a few local sympathisers, he was shipped off to the United States, where, when close to starvation, he managed to earn a precarious living by writing short stories for the "Chicago Tribune". Gissing is the brother of another noted late-Victorian novelist, Algernon Gissing.

Literary career

On returning to England in the autumn of 1877, Gissing married Marianne, and settled down in London to write novels. In 1880 when his first novel, "Workers in the Dawn", proved to be an abject failure, he became a private tutor to keep poverty from the door. In 1883, he separated from his wife, now an alcoholic, but gave her a weekly income on what little money he had until her death in 1888.

In 1884 his second novel, "The Unclassed", which saw a marked improvement in style and characterisation, met with moderate critical acclaim. After this Gissing published novels almost on a yearly basis, but so little money did they bring him, that for several more years he had to continue working as a tutor. Although notoriously exploited by his publishers, he was able to visit Italy in 1889 from the sale of the copyright of "The Nether World", his most pessimistic book. Between 1891 and 1897 (his so-called middle period) Gissing produced his best works, which include "New Grub Street", "Born in Exile", "The Odd Women", "In the Year of Jubilee", and "The Whirlpool". In advance of their time, they variously deal with the growing commercialism of the literary market, religious charlatanism, the situation of emancipated women in a male-dominated society, the poverty of the working classes, and marriage in a decadent world. During this period, having belatedly become aware of the financial rewards of writing short stories for the press, he produced almost seventy stories. As a result he was able to give up teaching. In February 1891 he had married another working-class woman named Edith Underwood and moved to Exeter. Despite the marital difficulties (Edith was prone to fits of violence and mental instability) they had two children together. After several more moves, Gissing separated from Edith in 1897, leaving his children with his sisters in Wakefield; in 1902, Edith was certified insane.

Later years

The middle years of the decade saw Gissing's reputation reach new heights: by some critics he is counted alongside George Meredith and Thomas Hardy as one of the best three novelists of his day. He also enjoyed new friendships with fellow writers such as Henry James, and H.G. Wells, and came into contact with many other up and coming writers such as Joseph Conrad and Stephen Crane. He made a second trip to Italy in 1897-1898, and also visited Greece. Towards the end of the nineties his health declined - he was eventually diagnosed with emphysema - so that he had to stay at a sanatorium from time to time. In 1898 he met Gabrielle Fleury, a Frenchwoman who had approached him in order to translate one of his novels, and fell in love with her. The following year they took part in a private marriage ceremony in Rouen, even though Gissing had been unable to obtain a divorce from Edith, and from then on they lived in France as a couple.

In 1903 Gissing published "The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft", which brought him much acclaim. This is his most autobiographical work. It is the memoir of the last happy years of a writer who had struggled much like Gissing, but thanks to a late legacy had been able to give up writing to retire to the countryside.

Gissing died on 28 December 1903 aged forty-six from the effects of emphysema, after having caught a chill on an ill-advised winter walk. At his death he left one unfinished novel, "Veranilda", which is set in Rome during the sixth century. Gissing is buried in the English cemetery at Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

George Gissing is a 'character' in Peter Ackroyd's "Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem".

ee also

*Alfred Gissing - Gissing's younger son

Other reading

*John Keahey, "A Sweet and Glorious Land: Revisiting the Ionian Sea" (St. Martin's Press 2000), following in Gissing's footsteps throughout southern Italy 100 years later.
*Edward Clodd, "Memories" (Watts & Co., London 1926), Chapter 15, pp. 165-195.


* "Workers in the Dawn" (1880)
* "The Unclassed" (1884)
* "Isabel Clarendon" (1885)
* "Demos" (1886)
* "Thyrza" (1887)
* "A Life's Morning" (1888)
* "The Nether World" (1889)
* "The Emancipated" (1890)
* "New Grub Street" (1891)
* "Denzil Quarrier" (1892)
* "Born In Exile" (1892)
* "The Odd Women" (1893)
* "In the Year of Jubilee" (1894)
* "Eve's Ransom" (1895)
* "The Paying Guest" (1895)
* "Sleeping Fires (1895)
* " The Whirlpool" (1897)
* "The Town Traveller" (1898)
* "" (1898)
* "The Crown Of Life" (1899)
* "By the Ionian Sea" (1901)
* "Our Friend the Charlatan" (1901)
* "The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft" (1903)
* "Will Warburton" (1905)
* "Veranilda" (1903, unfinished)
* "Stories and Sketches (posthumous, 1938) with preface by Alfred C. Gissing

External links

* [ Works by or about George Gissing] at Internet Archive (scanned books original editions color illustrated)
* (plain text and HTML)
* [ Online editions of his works]
* [ The George Gissing Website]

Источник: George Gissing

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