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Publisher's Summary

An absolutely fascinating, trailblazing and early work of feminism and social realism! This novel reflects the important sexual and cultural issues of the late nineteenth century. Here, women are portrayed as "odd" and marginal in relation to an ideal. Set in a smoggy London, our heroines range from the idealistic, financially autonomous Mary Barfoot; to the Madden sisters who struggle to get by in low paying jobs.

Considered by (contemporary) critics to be as freshly provocative as Zola and Ibsen, George Gissing has written an "intensely modern" work filled with talking points that are still the object of intense debate in today's world.
©2017 Audioliterature (P)2017 Audioliterature

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  • Katie
  • Illinois
  • 01-31-18

A clear eyed observation of women awakening to independence

Gissing’s writing feels so contemporary, his narrative flow so absorbing , his technique invisible. In his understanding of women, there is little of the condescension common in late Victorian literature.

This is not a political novel at all, it’s a book about personalities and women’s internal lives. Perfectly narrated. The cover illustration however bears no relation to the story. Audible, please change it. Gissing’s own story is compelling, a SO very handsome co-dependant man, brilliant in many things but not at fitting in.