The slow growth of Mr Gissing's reputation as a novelist must be regarded as one of the literary problems of the time. It is eleven years since the publication ofhis first novel, Unclassed; it is seven years since the appearance of Demos* convinced most of us who read the book that in him we had a writer of great, ifnot of supreme, power. In the meantime a dozen or more new men and women have won their way, carrying it by storm in some cases, to the heart of the great British public. To most households, on the other hand, Mr Gissing's books, with their rich qualities of dramatic force, realistic picturing, and trenchant style, are still strangers. He has steadily gained in favour, it is true, with a certain circle of readers, but on the great every-day world to which his novels, by virtue of their themes, must surely appeal, his hold would seem to have increased by almost imperceptible degrees.