Hailed as Gissing’s finest novel, New Grub Street portrays the intrigues and hardships of the publishing world in late Victorian England. In a materialistic, class-conscious society that rewards commercial savvy over artistic achievement, authors and scholars struggle to earn a living without compromising their standards. “Even as the novel chills us with its still-recognizable portrayal of the crass and vulgar world of literary endeavor,” writes Francine Prose in her Introduction, “its very existence provides eloquent, encouraging proof of the fact that a powerful, honest writer can transcend the constraints of commerce.”
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the text of the 1891 first edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: New Grub Street|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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New Grub Street
A Man of His Day
As the Milvains sat down to breakfast the clock of Wattleborough parish church struck eight; it was two miles away, but the strokes were borne very distinctly on the west wind this autumn morning. Jasper, listening before he cracked an egg, remarked with cheerfulness:
“There’s a man being hanged in London at this moment.”
“Surely it isn’t necessary to let us know that,” said his sister Maud, coldly.
“And in such a tone, too!” protested his sister Dora.
“Who is it?” inquired Mrs. Milvain, looking at her son with pained forehead.
“I don’t know. It happened to catch my eye in the paper yesterday that someone was to be hanged at Newgate1 this morning. There’s a certain satisfaction in reflecting that it is not oneself.”
“That’s your selfish way of looking at things,” said Maud.
“Well,” returned Jasper, “seeing that the fact came into my head, what better use could I make of it? I could curse the brutality of an age that sanctioned such things; or I could grow doleful over the misery of the poor—fellow. But those emotions would be as little profitable to others as to myself. It just happened that I saw the thing in a light of consolation. Things are bad with me, but not so bad as that. I might be going out between Jack Ketch2 and the Chaplain to be hanged; instead of that, I am eating a really fresh egg, and very excellent buttered toast, with coffee as good as can be reasonably expected in this part of the world.—(Do try boiling the milk, mother.)—The tone in which I spoke was spontaneous; being so,...