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Reading and Misreading the Country House in the Novels of George Gissing: The Dangers of Fiction

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/04/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>ELT Journal
Issue number3
Volume60
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)341-358
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Deciphering the perceived simplicity of the romance and idealisms of Isabel Clarendon as intentional and self-conscious intimates an entirely different view of the upper-class setting. Decoded, it appears as the site of precarious preset narratives that are precisely disposed to misreading and self-deception. Situating this early novel within the wider context of Gissing's works provides a better account of country house aesthetics than one based on the clear-cut dichotomy between "illusion and reality" that a chronological and biographical reading provokes. The focus of this argument is not to deny the presence of these concepts but rather to challenge the notion of their binary opposition through a rereading of the country house setting