Obviously Will Warburton was written before Veranilda, but how long before does not appear. There is no word ofpreface or explanation in this book, which, in the circumstances, would have been welcome, if not desirable. It is clear, however, that this is a late work, and that Gissing had advanced in the knowledge ofhis art and ofHfe considerably further than when he wrote Demos or New Grub Street. There is some resemblance between the latter and Will Warburton; but there is a vast difference in treatment and in spirit. A more genial temper characterizes this novel, which is described as 'a romance of real life.' It is, indeed, a realistic romance, which is not a contradiction in terms, and it is importantly different from Gissing's characteristic work. There is a positive sense of humour presiding over these chapters, and enly occasionally does that humour become grim. As a rule it is amiable and friendly. Gissing seems to have been on his way to discovering a further interpretation of life when he wrote this, which makes our regret at his premature death all the sharper. He so persistently and for years painted in grey and drab that it is a relief to read a story by him with lighter effects. The sunshine here is not bright, but it is light-it is not all the winter of our discontent. And Gissing seems also to have

develop~d a sense ofirony. Take, for example, the two portraits, Amy Reardon from New Grub Street and Rosamund Elvan from the last novel. There is a good deal in common between them; they are both temperamentally selfish. But one feels that Gissing has conceived his later character with more kindliness, has used her with more toleration, and dismisses her with a cynical smile of which he was not capable in his more zealous days. All this marks a gain in power, in grasp, and in sympathy. But apart from this important development there is no change observable in style. It is open to the same objections as before; it has the same virtues. It is undistinguished, but it is clear and efficient. It lacks colour, but it has balance. Its matter-of-factness makes it easy for the reader, while at times chafing him when he feels it might rise to the occasion. It never does; it plods along like a devoted pedestrian. But it is making for the proper goal all the same; and there are evolved