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George Gissing’s The Nether World and Clerkenwell: The Barren Ways and Phantom-Haunted Refuges of the Nether World

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Publication date1/08/2018
Host publicationThe Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies
EditorsJeremy Tambling
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (electronic)9783319625928
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Nether World (1889) is Gissing’s fifth London novel. It sits alongside New Grub Street (1891), Born in Exile (1892) and The Whirlpool (1897) as one of the few novels whose titles are spatial rather than, as is the case with the other twenty, temporal or character-based. The ‘nether world’ is a metaphor for Clerkenwell. It draws a figurative connection between the self-contained London district and hellish underworld.