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Trapped by birth and circumstance she is unable to escape her destiny Thyrza Trent is the embodiment of Gissing’s preoccupation with sex class and money and through her he exposes a society instrinsically opposed to social mobilityIn a letter Gissing wrote “Thyrza herself is one of the most beautiful dreams I ever had or shall have I value the book really than anything I have yet done” Contemporary critics praised Gissing’s “profoundknowledge of the London poor” and his “courageous presentation of truth” His unfor. A New Edition Of Gissing s ThyrzaThe late Victorian novelist George Gissing 1857 1905 is best known for New Grub Street and The Odd Women two books that he wrote in mid life Other that these two novels Gissing s works freuently are difficult to find Interested readers freuently must search for dubious offprint editions This is particularly the case for Gissing s earlier books which have a strongly personal autobiographical component Of his first seven novels six are set among the working class poor of LondonA small English publisher called Victorian Secrets has assumed the role of publishing Victorian novels that tend to be forgotten including several novels of Gissing In 2010 Victorian Secrets published Gissing s rare first novel Workers in the Dawn followed in 2011 by Gissing s third novel Demos Victorian Secrets has now published Gissing s fifth novel Thyrza written in 1887 and published in a revised edition in 1891 As does its companions the Victorian Secrets edition of Thyrza is beautifully produced with a readable reliable version of the text Pierre Coustillas the distinguished Gissing scholar and the author of a recent three volume biography edited the volume as well as the earlier two volumes prepared the endnotes and wrote an insightful introduction to the book The introduction includes as well a short biography of Gissing and a bibliography of studies of Thyrza The edition includes as well an essay by David Gryllis Kellogg College Oxford discussing the changes Gissing made in the book between the first version in 1887 and the revised version of 1891 Finally the book includes maps of the two worlds inhabited by the primary characters of the book Thyrza Trent and Walter Egremont Thyrza s world centers upon the working class community of Lambeth while Egremont is at home in the Lake District and in EastbourneWhile this edition makes Thyrza accessible to new readers it offers something new to those who already know the book Virtually every edition and reprint of the book uses Gissing s 1891 revision In this edition Coustillas opts to use Gissing s original 1887 text He thus takes an already long text and makes it somewhat longer In the revised version Gissing eliminated some narrative editorializing and also cut an extensive sub plot that occurs in the final third of the novel Readers familiar with other editions of Thyrza will be able to compare the two versions Those new to the book will have a longer read than otherwise but they will get to know Thyrza It is valuable for readers devoted to Gissing to have the original version availableBut we here are mortals and being mortals of mortals let us sing Gissing aptly took this verse of Theocritus as the epigraph for Thyrza The novel is at once a portrayal of passion and love and their importance and rarity and a description of the life of workers in Lambeth The book is set over a four year period in the early 1880 s Walter Egremont an educated wealthy young man from a working class background decides to go to Lambeth to present a series of lectures for the uplift of working men He finds only one person receptive to his aims Gilbert Grail 35 who works at drudgery as a candle maker Grail gets engaged to the young beautiful Thyrza Trent 16 whom he has long loved from afar before Egremont offers him a position in a free library he proposes to establish in Lambeth Egremont and Thyrza meet soon thereafter are strongly attracted and fall in love without acknowledging this to each other A long complex tale follows in which Thyrza runs away and nearly dies and Egremont spends two years in America to get a better understanding of himself and his feelings Egremont is idealistic well meaning but weak and ineffectual Thyrza is an idealized character The book includes many subthemes and well developed secondary characters including Thyrza s practical minded sister Lydia Thyrza s friend Totty Nancarrow Thyzra s erstwhile suitor Luke Ackroyd Annabel an educated young woman courted at various times by Egremont and Mrs Ormonde a woman friend and mother figure for Egremont who plays a pivotal role in the denoument of the storyMuch of the force of Thyrza derives from its descriptive passages of nature of upper class England but especially of the streets shops and people of Lambeth For example in a scene in which a group of poor children dance to a barrel organ playing on Lambeth Walk Gissing describes Chapter IXthe life of men who toil without hope yet with the hunger of an unshaped desire of women in whom the sweetness of their sex is perishing under labour and misery the laugh the song of the girl who strives to enjoy her year or two of youthful vigour knowing the darkness of the years to come the careless defiance of the youth who feels his blood and revolts against the lot which would tame it all that is purely human in these darkened multitudes speaks to you as you listen It is the self conscious striving of a nature which knows not what it would attain which deforms a true thought by gross expression which clutches at the beautiful and soils it with foul handsAs with much of Gissing Thyrza is a mixture of social realism and romantic love For all its emphsis on Lambeth and on the difficulty of uplifting the poor through programs of literary education the focus of this novel is on passion and of the rarity and supreme importance in Gissing s eyes of true love The heroine Thyzra is willing to break her engagement because she feels the force of love physical as well as intellectual for Egremont Egremont in the last analysis lacks the courage to act upon his feelings and his life remains forever poor and atrophied as a resultI was grateful for the opportunity to revisit Thyrza in this new Victorian Secrets edtition The length intricacy and Victorian writing style mean that Gissing s novel will never be a book for everyone But the Victorian Secrets edition should allow Thyrza to find its own self selected group of readersRobin Friedman

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Thyrza Author George Gissing

First published in 1887 Gissing intended Thyrza to “contain the very spirit of London working class life” His story tells of Walter Egremont an Oxford trained idealist who gives lectures on literature to workers some of them from his father’s Lambeth factory Thyrza Trent a young hat trimmer meets and falls in love with him forsaking Gilbert Grail an intelligent working man who Egremont has put in charge of his libraryIn a tale of ambition betrayal and disillusionment Gissing’s heroine aspires to purity and self improvement. For me this book was a downer Intellectually I can appreciate the technical skill of the author and the interesting commentaries on social political and philosophical issues of late Victorian England However it is a very sad story Cloudy cold and leaf less April in Atlantic Canada was not an ideal time to read it But I lived to tell the tale so here is the gist of the taleThree men are in love with the same young woman you guessed it Thyrza Beautiful petite golden haired Thyrza Trent who works long hours as a needle woman sings like a songbird and accepts without argument whatever life hands to her Well almostIt makes for a good yarn to be sure this notion of three men pursuing one innocent and malleable young woman Luke Ackroyd is the salt of the earth working man not the macho sterotype but instead a sensitive honest loyal non judgmental and independent fellow Very likeable but a bit flighty in matters of the heart Gilbert Grail is difficult to warm up to but no less likeable Also a factory worker but a bookish and insecure introvert he has few friends Approaching mid life Gilbert lines the walls of his little parlour with book laden shelves He shares with his mother a small but respectable suite beneath the single room where Thyrza lives with her motherly older sister Lydia Convenient Yes Gilbert is convenient always available and willing to help the people he lovesRounding out the trio of Thyrza s admirers is the independently wealthy Oxford student Walter Egremont Walter is the ultimate idealist devoting his time to words and ideas Walter is not your stereotypical arrogant aristocrat politically he leans to the left and is committed to improving the lot of the working class Free from the reuirement to earn his living he longs to devote his time and fortune to a worthy cause A grand idea a most honourable one in fact this proves to be his undoingWell you might be thinking with three men wanting Thyrza s hand in marriage there is bound to be a happy ending Well that s for you to discover Lack of communication incorrect assumptions personal feelings of insecurity fear of breaking social rules secrecy and deception and just plain meddling combine to make a captivating story with a surprising and for me disappointing ending Am I glad that I read this book Most definitely Would I be willing to read it again Most definitely not

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Gettable portrayal of urban poverty describes the “meanness and inveterate grime” of the Caledonian Road and a Lambeth “redolent with oleaginous matter”Thyrza is a powerful shocking and unforgettable novelThis new scholarly edition the first for over twenty five years includes critical introduction by Pierre Coustillas author biography select bibliography explanatory endnotes specially commissioned maps of London and Sussex essay on Thyrza's geography by Richard Dennis essay on Gissing’s revision of Thyrza by David Gryll. Heart breaking warm and deep felt Among my favorite by Gissing The story is framed beautifully the characters inter mix in such naturally tragic mis jointure of movements It has the beauty and tragic fatalism the loving characters grow close to you


9 thoughts on “Thyrza Author George Gissing

  1. says:

    George Gissing is a remarkable novelist He wrote twenty three novels published between 1880 and 1905 most now completely unknown except to the occasional academic specialist—and yet the uality of his writing seems to me consistently strong and distinctive I have read five Gissing novels since 2014 thanks Goodreads for that stat a

  2. says:

    For me this book was a downer Intellectually I can appreciate the technical skill of the author and the interesting commentaries on social political and philosophical issues of late Victorian England However it is a very sad story Cloudy cold and leaf less April in Atlantic Canada was not an ideal time to read it But I lived to tell the tale

  3. says:

    ThyrzaAnd thou art dead as young and fairAs aught of mortal birth;And form so soft and charms so rareToo soon return'd to EarthGeorge Gordon Lord Byron Elegy on ThyrzaGeorge Gissing's 1857 1903novel Thyrza 1887 centers upon the death of a beautiful young woman with the unusual name in Byron's poem The book was Gissing's

  4. says:

    A New Edition Of Gissing's ThyrzaThe late Victorian novelist George Gissing 1857 1905 is best known for New Grub Street and The Odd Women two books that he wrote in mid life Other that these two novels Gissing's works freuently are difficult to find Interested readers freuently must search for dubious offprint editions This is pa

  5. says:

    After Demos Gissing felt he still had another working classnovel in him this time he wanted to concentrate on workinggirls and the way they were exploited Gissing's novels aregrim and depressing because they mirror his own life LikeErgemont and Gilbert Grail Gissing felt the way to elevateworkers and lower classes was through literature and books earlier in Thyrza Grail had sadly shook his head because his two companions Bunce and Ackroyd

  6. says:

    275 stars My least favorite Gissing I probably shouldn't have finished it so tedious did I find certain sections but I have a hard time abandoning a book There were some good scenes and minor characters as well as the uotations listed below The problem the titular character I found her far from interestingsun smitten lake 3“For a wonder there was no fog tonight but the street lights glistened on wet pavements and vehicles as t

  7. says:

    For all those interested in Victoriana Gissing might be your man He called this his personal favorite and of the works I have read by him I hav

  8. says:

    Heart breaking warm and deep felt Among my favorite by Gissing The story is framed beautifully the characters i

  9. says:

    Thyrzaby George Gissing

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