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George Meredith

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Nationality  English
Role  Novelist
Name  George Meredith

Notable works  Modern Love
George Meredith Frasi di George Meredith
Born  12 February 1828 Portsmouth, Hampshire, England (1828-02-12)
Spouses  Mary Ellen Peacock (1849–1861) Marie Vulliamy (1864–1886)
Children  Arthur, William, and Mariette
Died  May 18, 1909, Box Hill, Surrey, United Kingdom
Influenced by  Alfred Lord Tennyson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Keats
Books  The Egoist, Modern Love, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, Diana of the Crossways, Evan Harrington
Similar People  Thomas Hardy, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Hubert Howe Bancroft, George Eliot

Literary movement  Victorian literature
Nominations  Nobel Prize in Literature

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George Meredith, OM (12 February 1828 – 18 May 1909) was an English novelist and poet of the Victorian era. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times.

Contents

George Meredith George Meredith English novelist and poet Posters

Life

George Meredith httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Meredith was born in Portsmouth, England, a son and grandson of naval outfitters. His mother died when he was five. At the age of 14 he was sent to a Moravian School in Neuwied, Germany, where he remained for two years. He read law and was articled as a solicitor, but abandoned that profession for journalism and poetry. He collaborated with Edward Gryffydh Peacock, son of Thomas Love Peacock in publishing a privately circulated literary magazine, the Monthly Observer. He married Edward Peacock's widowed sister Mary Ellen Nicolls in 1849 when he was twenty-one years old and she was twenty-eight.

George Meredith George Meredith Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Meredith collected his early writings, first published in periodicals, in an 1851 volume, Poems. In 1856 he posed as the model for The Death of Chatterton, a notable painting by the English Pre-Raphaelite painter Henry Wallis (1830–1916). His wife ran off with Wallis in 1858; she died three years later. The collection of "sonnets" entitled Modern Love (1862) emerged from this experience as did The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, his first "major novel".

George Meredith George Meredith The Poetry Foundation

Meredith married Marie Vulliamy in 1864 and settled in Surrey. He continued writing novels and poetry, often inspired by nature. He had a keen understanding of comedy and his Essay on Comedy (1877) remains a reference work in the history of comic theory. In The Egoist, published in 1879, he applies some of his theories of comedy in one of his most enduring novels. Some of his writings, including The Egoist, also highlight the subjugation of women during the Victorian period. During most of his career, he had difficulty achieving popular success. His first successful novel was Diana of the Crossways published in 1885.

George Meredith George Meredith

Meredith supplemented his often uncertain writer's income with a job as a publisher's reader. His advice to Chapman and Hall made him influential in the world of letters. His friends in the literary world included, at different times, William and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Cotter Morison, Leslie Stephen, Robert Louis Stevenson, George Gissing and J. M. Barrie. His contemporary Sir Arthur Conan Doyle paid him homage in the short-story "The Boscombe Valley Mystery", when Sherlock Holmes says to Dr. Watson during the discussion of the case, "And now let us talk about George Meredith, if you please, and we shall leave all minor matters until to-morrow." Oscar Wilde, in his dialogue "The Decay of Lying", implies that Meredith, along with Balzac, is his favourite novelist, saying "Ah, Meredith! Who can define him? His style is chaos illumined by flashes of lightning".

George Meredith George Meredith genius Jam and Idleness

In 1868 Meredith was introduced to Thomas Hardy by Frederic Chapman of Chapman & Hall the publishers. Hardy had submitted his first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady. Meredith advised Hardy not to publish his book as it would be attacked by reviewers and destroy his hopes of becoming a novelist. Meredith felt the book was too bitter a satire on the rich and counselled Hardy to put it aside and write another 'with a purely artistic purpose' and more of a plot. Meredith spoke from experience; his first big novel, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, was judged so shocking that Mudie's circulating library had cancelled an order of 300 copies. Hardy continued in his attempts to publish the novel: however it remained unpublished, though he clearly took Meredith's advice seriously. Before his death, Meredith was honoured from many quarters: he succeeded Lord Tennyson as president of the Society of Authors; in 1905 he was appointed to the Order of Merit by King Edward VII.

In 1909, he died at his home in Box Hill, Surrey. He is buried in the cemetery at Dorking, Surrey.

Personal life

Meredith had two wives and three children. He outlived both wives and one child.

On 9 August 1849, Meredith married Mary Ellen Nicolls (née Peacock), a beautiful widow with a daughter. They had one child, Arthur (1853–1890). In 1858 she ran off with the painter Henry Wallis, shortly before giving birth to a child assumed to be Wallis'. Mary Ellen died in 1861.

On 20 September 1864, Meredith married Marie Vulliamy. She died of cancer in 1886.

Meredith had three children:
with Mary Ellen

  • Arthur Gryffydh (1853–1890)
  • with Marie

  • William Maxse (1865–1937)
  • Marie Eveleen (known as Mariette) (1871–1933). She married Henry Parkman Sturgis.
  • Essays

  • Essay on Comedy (1877)
  • Novels

  • The Shaving of Shagpat (1856)
  • Farina (1857)
  • The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859)
  • Evan Harrington (1861)
  • Emilia in England (1864), republished as Sandra Belloni in 1887
  • Rhoda Fleming (1865)
  • Vittoria (1867)
  • The Adventures of Harry Richmond (1871)
  • Beauchamp's Career (1875)
  • The House on the Beach (1877)
  • The Case of General Ople and Lady Camper (1877)
  • The Tale of Chloe (1879)
  • The Egoist (1879)
  • The Tragic Comedians (1880)
  • Diana of the Crossways (1885)
  • One of our Conquerors (1891)
  • Lord Ormont and his Aminta (1894)
  • The Amazing Marriage (1895)
  • Celt and Saxon (1910)
  • Poetry

  • Poems (1851)
  • Modern Love (1862)
  • The Lark Ascending (1881), (which inspired Vaughan Williams' instrumental work of that title).
  • Poems and Lyrics of the Joy of Earth (1883)
  • The Woods of Westermain (1883)
  • A Faith on Trial (1885)
  • Ballads and Poems of Tragic Life (1887)
  • A Reading of Earth (1888)
  • The Empty Purse (1892)
  • Odes in Contribution to the Song of French History(1898)
  • A Reading of Life (1901)
  • Selected Poems of George Meredith (1903, author's supervision)
  • Last Poems (1909)
  • Lucifer in Starlight
  • Dirge in the woods
  • References

    George Meredith Wikipedia


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