21 September 2015

Gissing, Anyone?

We're having a new garage door installed today.  The gentlemen are expected between now and then, which doesn't make for focused reading.  So I browsed the bookcase closest to the front window while keeping half an eye out for their van.

George Gissing rates quite highly when it comes to Victorian authors so I was thrilled when Penguin reissued The Whirlpool last February.  Another reason to cheer was the fact that I no longer had to mull over a desperate move to purchase a water-stained copy at a second-hand shop for 75 cents.

'Harvey Rolfe is a confirmed bachelor until he meets the fascinating musician Alma; restless, ambitious, dissatisfied.  Through the story of their doomed marriage - one of jealousy, faithlessness and financial disaster - The Whirlpool creates an unforgettable picture of the maelstrom of late-Victorian London, as its cast of characters cling desperately to their respectable world of gentleman's clubs and private incomes, terrified it will be swept away.  Written in the shadow of George Gissing's own unhappy domestic life, his astonishing 1897 novel encapsulates the glamour and darkness of the end of a century.'

The theme and palette of the cover art is strikingly similar to my current read, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

The plan is to read The Whirlpool in either October or November, so if you own a copy and would like a bit of reading company, let me know!


  1. I do enjoy a Gissing but I don't have that one.

  2. Ooh, those colors! I would love to read (and to discover an author new to me) with you, if I can find a copy... so count me sort of in!

    1. My library group will be wrapping up 'Fingersmith' October 2...so how about October 3, Audrey? That should leave plenty of time for spooky Halloween reading!

  3. P.S. Found it in the college library! Say when.

  4. I've been wanting to try Gissing and am so tempted...
    But can I really fit in another book this fall? Let me see if I can wrap up a couple of current reads in time.

  5. The only Gissing I have read is New Grub Street ... I have read that several times ... I do hope Mrs Parker liked him & that this piece was just jest ...
    When I admit neglect of Gissing,
    They say I don't know what I'm missing.
    Until their arguments are subtler,
    I think I'll stick to Samuel Butler.