George Gissing was an "author's author", widely known by the literary greats of his era. However he did not achieve popularity with the general public until after his death.
Eve's Ransom, written in 1895, is the story of a bizarre triangle of love. An educated but unsuccessful man, Hilliard, is trapped in grimy Birmingham until he receives a totally unexpected windfall. He goes in search of a woman whose picture he had seen in his landlady's photo album.
Typical of most of Gissings books the setting is autobiographically faithful and the theme is freedom. The writing is crisp, the narrative swift in this, as H. G. Wells said, "the best and least appreciated of his novels".
"Gissing was not a writer of picaresque tales, or burlesques, or comedies, or political tracts: he was interested in individual human beings, and the fact that he can deal sympathetically with several different sets of motives, and makes a credible story out of the collision between them, makes him exceptional among English writers." (George Orwell)
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