Edited and with an introduction by John Goode, this is Gissing's novel of men and women forced to make their living by writing. Their daily lives and broken dreams are made and marred by the rigours of urban life, and the demands of the newborn mass communications industry.
Generally regarded as George Gissing's finest novel, this is the story of the daily lives and broken dreams of men and women forced to earn a living by the pen. It tells of a group of novelists, journalists and scholars caught in the literary and cultural crisis that hit Britain in the closing years of the 19th century, as universal education, popular journalism and mass communication began to leave their mark on the life of intellectuals. Projecting a strong sense of the London in which his characters struggle, Gissing also illuminates "the valley of the shadow of books", where the spirit of alienation that created modernism was already stirring. John Goode, who has edited and written the introduction to this edition, is the author of "Tradition and Tolerance in Nineteenth Century Fiction" and also edited Gissing's "The Nether World" and " George Gissing: Ideology and Fiction".