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Unsettled Accounts

Money and Narrative in the Novels of George Gissing

Simon J. James
 

Unsettled Accounts

Examines how Gissing's work reveals an unhappy accommodation with money's underwriting of human existence and culture.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781843311072
December 2003 | 200 Pages | 234 x 155mm / 9.2 x 6.1
 
PRICE:  £70.00  /  $115.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781843311072

About This Book

'James's study begins with an excellent survey of the role of money in Victorian plots, and works down to careful readings on the specifics of Gissin's art.' —'Victorian Studies'

'"Unsettled Accounts" is a splendidly documented study of Gissing's fiction...it constantly impresses by its new insights and the freshness of its approach to a major Victorian theme. "Unsettled Accounts" is a book of stimulating suggestiveness which greatly enhances the status of Gissing's art. It will become one of the most frequently quoted critical studies devoted to his impressive achievements.' —Pierre Coustillas, Emeritus Professor, Department of English, University of Lille

James's study begins with an excellent survey of the role of money in Victorian plots, and works down to careful readings on the specifics of Gissin's art.' —'Victorian Studies'

Simon J. James examines how Gissing's work reveals an unhappy accommodation with money's underwriting of human existence and culture, and how daily life in all its forms – moral, intellectual, familial and erotic – is transcended or made irrelevant by its commodification. Novels such as 'New Grub Street' expose high culture's dependence on the ruthless Darwinism of late Victorian capitalism: literary and personal success can only be achieved by understanding and adapting to the immanent and irresistible nature of a market hostile to the development of human self-betterment. Situated against nineteenth-century analyses of monetary relations by thinkers such as Ruskin, Mill, Marx and Carlyle, and novels by Dickens, Eliot and Hardy, 'Unsettled Accounts' demonstrates how Gissing's work is engagedly modern, dealing as it does with changes in the nature of the literary market, advertising, imperialism, the New Woman and the condition of the working classes. This groundbreaking new study, published 100 years after Gissing's death, will be of considerable interest to students, researchers and scholars. A valuable introduction to Gissing's work, it claims a prominent place for him in fin-de-siècle Victorian literature.

Readership: Of considerable interest to students, researchers and scholars of Victorian literature and culture.

Author Information

Simon J. James is Lecturer in Victorian Literature in the Department of English Studies at the University of Durham. His research interests include Victorian fiction, masculinity in literature and contemporary writing.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: Telling Money; 2. Dickens in Memory: Gissing's Critical Writing; 3. Poverty and Imagination: The Early Novels; 4. The Price of Culture: Gissing's Major Phase; 5. Gissing's City of Women: The Later Novels; Notes; Bibliography; Index