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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIII. The Victorian Age, Part One.

XIV. George Meredith, Samuel Butler, George Gissing

§ 14. Gissing’s work transitional

The novels of Gissing bear all the marks of a period of transition; they retain features of the passing Victorian type—sentimental, capacious, benevolently admonitory, plot-ridden; at the same time, they adumbrate accepted modern forms, which picture a familiar “slice of life” in a representation saturated with material detail, precise and complete in analysis of the inner world of thought and feeling. The transition was effected at an earlier time, and more consciously, in France, where its principles were formulated by apologists such as Taine, and theorists who were also practitioners, such as the disciples of Flaubert. Gissing was widely read in the fiction of the continent and uses his reading to finely critical purpose in the monograph on Dickens; it is natural, therefore, to look in him for affinities with these continental writers.