George Meredith (1828-1909)

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 4th edition. Ed. Sir Paul Harvey. Oxford: Clarendon, 1983. 535-534.

“[Meredith] was privately educated at Portsmouth and Southsea and at the Moravian school at Neuwied. In London, after being articled to a solicitor, he turned to journalism, contributing to Household Words and Chamber’s Journal….His first great novel, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel appeared in 1859, and he became acquainted with Swinburne, Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite group, and other notable people. But his book did not sell well and for long his means were scanty and precarious. He contributed to periodicals, and more especially to the Fortnightly Review, in which much of his later work was first published….During 1861-2 he lodged for a time with Swinburn and Rossetti in Chelsea, and in the latter year published his chief tragic poem Modern Love. At the same time he became reader for Messrs. Chapman & Hall, a position which he retained until 1894….He published Rhoda Fleming in 1865, Vittoria in 1866, The Adventures of Harry Richmond…in 1871, Beauchamp’s Career…in 1876, and The Tale of Chloe and The Egoist in 1879. He delivered in 1877 a characteristic lecture on ‘The Idea of Comedy and the Uses of the Comic Spirit’ (separately published in 1897)….An edition de luxe of his collected works appeared in 1896-1911 and a memorial edition in 1909-11. There is a portrait of Meredith by Watts in the National Portrait Gallery.”