literatureofworkinglife

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George Gissing as Writer about Work

I have added a new piece on the Essays page, which appeared previously on the Albertopolis Writing Circle site. George Gissing wrote two novels in quick succession at the end of the nineteenth century, New Grub Street and Born in Exile dealing with the career and social prospects of bright working and lower middle class boys given the chance of a good education by reforms following the 1870 Education Act. Gissing himself was a representative of this group and things had not turned out well, and they don’t turn out well for his fictional anti-heroes, Edwin Reardon and Godwin Peak, the first trying to make his way as a literary novelist, the second as a scientist. Both books provide considerable insight into the working lives of writers and journalists (Grub Street) and in chemical and biological science (Born in Exile).

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