The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIII. The Victorian Age, Part One.
§ 16. The delineation of poverty; Realism and pessimism
In all the books named above it is evident that Gissing, a born hedonist, hated the scene he was portraying; he could not at any time sink his own standards, nor could he comprehend the factors—custom, comradeship, the lowered demand upon life and characteristic forms of courage and humour—by which their lot is rendered tolerable to the poor. The picture of poverty is seen in pleasanter lights (and presented in a less substantial medium) in the later books, The Town Traveller and Will Warburton.