George Gissing (1857 - 1903) is a British novelist. Although he is Victorian in chronological terms, his work marked a trend towards the cynicism of the 20th century novel. His best-known work is the masterpiece New Grub Street.
In "New Grub Street" George Gissing re-created a microcosm of London's literary society as he had experienced it. His novel is at once a major social document and a story that draws us irresistibly into the twilit world of Edwin Reardon, a struggling novelist, and his friends and acquaintances in Grub Street including Jasper Milvain, an ambitious journalist, and Alfred Yule, an embittered critic. Here Gissing brings to life the bitter battles (fought out in obscure garrets or in the Reading Room of the British Museum) between integrity and the dictates of the market place, the miseries of genteel poverty and the damage that failure and hardship do to human personality and relationships.
“The most impressive of Gissing’s books . . . England has produced very few better novelists.” George Orwell