Meredith, George (DNB12)
|←Melville, Arthur||Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement
|Merivale, Herman Charles→|
MEREDITH, GEORGE (1828-1909), novelist and poet, was born at 73 High Street, Portsmouth (the Lymport of 'Evan Harrington'), on 12 Feb. 1828. His great-grandfather, John Meredith, was living at Portsea in the middle of the eighteenth century, and there in the parish church his son Melchizedek or Melchisedec was baptised in June 1763. 'Mel' early in life became a tailor and naval outfitter in the chief street of Portsmouth, and his business soon became the leading one of its kind in the port (there is a reference to it in chap. vi. of the second vol. of Marryat's Peter Simple, 1834). His ambitions ranged beyond the counter ; he was on friendly terms with many distinguished customers, was welcomed as a diner-out, and talked like Sydney Smith. He kept horses and hunted, was a member of a local Freemasons' Lodge, and joined the Portsmouth yeomanry as an officer on Napoleon's threat of invasion. In 1801 and 1803-4 he was a churchwarden in the parish church of St. Thomas, to which he presented two offertory plates. He died on 10 July 1804, leaving a large family by his wife Anne, like himself, tall, handsome, and (it is said) the daughter of a solicitor in good practice. 'Mel's son, Gustavo Urmston (1797-1876), whose name was changed subsequently to Augustus Armstrong, succeeded to the business. Though not without commercial ability, he was wild and extravagant, being, possibly, hampered by his father's grand ideas. He married in 1824 Jane Eliza (1802-1833), daughter of Michael Macnamara of the Point, Portsmouth, 'an old inhabitant' of the town. The only child of this marriage was George Meredith, born above the ancestral shop and baptised on 9 April 1828 in the church of St. Thomas, just seven months before the death of Mrs. 'Mel,' his grandmother. In July 1833 his mother died, the business fell into a rapid decline, and the father migrated first to London and subsequently to Cape Town. He retired after 1860 to 2 Oxford Villas (now 50 Elm Grove), Southsea, where his son visited him occassionally, and he died there on 18 June 1870. His seoond wife (his cook), Matilda (Buckott), died in 1885, aged sixty-seven, and they are interred together in the Highland Road cemetery, Soutlisea. The four 'daughters of the shears,' as Meredith calknl tlie great Mel's daughters in 'Evan Harrington,' were all exceedingly beautiful, and they married men somewhat above their own social station. The eldest, Anne Eliza, married in April 1809 Thomas Burl)ey, banker, of 46 High Street, Portsmouth, who became mayor of the town in 1833. The second, Louisa, married in March 1811 John Read, consul-general for the Azores. The third, Harriet, married John Hellyer, a brewer ; and the youngest, Catherine Matilda, married, also in St. Thomas's church, on 28 Oct. 1819, (Sir) Samuel Burdon EUis [q. v.]. Three of these aunts can be identified without difficulty, mutatis mutandis, for Meredith never mimicked environment too closely, in 'Evan Harrington.'
Meredith's first ten or twelve years were spent at Portsmouth, where he enjoyed the hospitality of his aunts, their friends and relatives. He went as a day boy to St. Paul's church school, Southsea ; afterwards the trustees of his mother's small estate put him to a boarding school in the town, his chief recollections of which centred roimd the dreariness of the Sunday services and the reading of the 'Arabian Nights.' Early in 1843 he was sent to the Moravian School at Neuwied on the Rhine, ten miles north-west of Coblentz, where Professor Henry Morley had preceded him about five years. He remained there until the close of 1844, when he returned home to be articled to a solicitor in London. He began to learn in earnest, though never very systematically, at Neuwied, and his ideas were much enlarged, but he was mainly self-educated. He studied Goethe and Richter. His sympathy with the German point of view in 'Farina,' 'Harry Richmond,' 'The Tragic Comedians,' 'One of our Conquerors,' and elsewhere is sometimes attributed to his sojourn upon the Rhine when he was fifteen ; but his stay at Neuwied was brief and his allusions to it in later life were very limited and inconclusive. He read German with perfect ease, but spoke it indifferently, with less ease, indeed, than he spoke French, which he wrote with facility.
In 1845 he was articled to Richard Stephen Chamock of 10 Godliman Street, lawyer and antiquary, who is thought to have combined certain of the traita of the two uncles in 'Richard Fevere.' Charnock was a Bohemian and a 'character' who, in 1847-8, when he became accessible to Meredith, was one of the 'old boys' of the Arundel Club. George's income during this period was very small and irregular, and he frequently lived on a single bowl of porridge a day. His recreation was walking oat into Surrey. His patrimony had dwindled, and seeing no definite prospect in the law he turned instinctively to journalism. At or through the Arundel Club he obtained introductions to R. H. Home, Lord John Manners, and Charles Dickens, through whom he hoped to obtain work on the 'Standard,' 'Household Words,' and other papers. Twenty-four of his earliest poems were contributed to 'Household Words,' while he acted as 'writing master' to a small circle of amateurs who sent other poems to the same periodical. In 1849 he began sending contributions, including a piece on Kossuth, to 'Chambers's Journal,' and on 7 July a poem by him on 'Chillianwallah' was printed there. He had already made the acquaintance of 'Ned' [Edward] Gryffydh, son of Thomas Love Peacock [q. v.] ; had walked with him to Brighton, and afterwards met, at his rooms near the British Museum, his attractive if flighty sister, Mary Ellen, who had married, in Jan. 1844, Lieutenant Edward Nicolls (commander of H.M.S. Dwarf) and was left a widow within four months of the marriage. Extraordinarily gifted, young, poor, ambitious, Meredith was admitted into the intimacy of the Peacock circle. He played cricket with Mrs. Nicolls's little daughter, Edith, and took his place among Mrs. Nicolls's many admirers. In successive months he, young Peacock, Mrs. Nicolls, Chamock, and other friends, edited the manuscript periodical 'The Monthly Observer,' which ran from March 1848 to July 1849 (cf. Athenæum, 24 Aug. 1912). Mrs. Nicolls was at least seven years older than Meredith, but they were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, on Ang. 1848. They paid visits to Felixstowe and elsewhere, and then, depending chiefly upon a small Portsmouth legacy, spent a year or more abroad before taking up their residence at Weybridge. There they boarded at The Limes, the house of Mrs. Macirone, a highly cultured woman, where Meredith met among others, Sir Alexander Doff Gordon, his accomplished wife (Lucy), Eyre Crowe, Tom Taylor, and Samuel Lucas of 'The Times,' whose 'Mornings of the Recess' formed the literary causerie most valued by men of letters. Two miles across the ferry stood Peacock's house at Lower Halliford. Meredith's youthful admiration for Peacock bore fruit in a genuine though not very close influence. While still at Weybridge Meredith dedicated his 'Poems' of 1851 to 'Thomas Love Peacock, Esq. . . . with the profound admiration and affectionate respect of his son-in-law, Weybridge, May 1851.' In all probability Peacock had assisted in the publication of the volume, which was issued by Peacock's friends, J. W. Parker & Son of West Strand, and which cost the poor author about 60l. (a single copy has since fetched as much as 30l). Parker & Son also published 'Fraser's Magazine,' to the pages of which Peacock's daughter and son-in-law were early contributors. An 'Essay on Gastronomy and CiviHsation' (Dec. 1851) is signed M[ary] M[eredith] ; it was subsequently expanded into a little book. Two among George Meredith's earhest identified single poems, 'Invitation to the Country' and 'Sweet of the Year,' also appeared in 'Fraser' (Aug. 1851, June 1852). While still at Weybridge, with 'duns knocking at the door,' Meredith began working at 'The Shaving of Shagpat,' much of it being read aloud to his little step-daughter, and many passages declaimed to Janet Duff Gordon, his literary Egeria of a few years later. In 1853 Peacock invited Meredith and his wife, whose struggle with poverty threatened to overwhelm them, to live in his house. There Arthur Gryffydh (1853-90), the only child of the union, was born on 11 June 1853. Soon after Peacock installed the young family in a cottage (still standing) at Lower HaUiford.
'No sun warmed my roof-tree,' Meredith was said to have exclaimed in later years; 'the marriage was a blunder.' The course of estrangement, though not its cause, is traced implicitly in ' Modern Love.' Outwardly relations were amicable, and visits were paid to the FitzGeralds (nephews of the author of 'Omar') at Seaford, and were returned. In 1858 Mrs. Meredith went off to Capri with the artist Henry Wallis, eventually returning to Weybridge, where she died at Grotto Cottage in 1861. Meredith claimed his son, and for a time they lived together in London, no one knows where, or upon what resources. Ned Peacock and his son, however, were still occasional visitors, as they continued to be for at least another ten years.
In Meredith's first volume, 'Poems' of 1851, there is nothing, perhaps, altogether first rate, for the 'Love in the Valley,' as we know it, was rewritten in 1878. But the general level of accomplishment and beauty is high ; there is daring in the young poet's rhythmical experiments without rhyme. Although Meredith often complained later of the lack of encouragement extended to his early efforts, his first volume won much praise. W. M. Rossetti, then twenty-two years old, described it as Keatsian in the 'Critic' (15 Nov.), and Charles Kingsley in 'Fraser' (Dec. 1851) put the 'Love Poems' above Herrick's. Tennyson also wrote that he found the verse of 'Love in the Valley' very sweet upon his lips. The quinine, so distinctive of Meredith's later verse, was imported later. Meredith's second venture, 'The Shaving of Shagpat : An Arabian Entertainment,' followed in 1855. It is a fantasia on the subject-matter of 'The Arabian Nights,' easily outstripping its forerunner, Beckford's 'Vathek,' in the skill with which it catches the oriental spirit. Arabic students have indeed sought a lost original. The author expressly repudiated any elaborate allegorical intention- George Eliot in 'The Leader' (5 Jan. 1856) described it as a work of genius — poetical genius, and as 'an apple tree among the trees of the wood.' 'Farina : a Legend of Cologne,' which followed the Arab tale in 1857, is a rather slighter burlesque or ironical sketch, something in the vein of Peacock, aimed at the mediæval and romantic tale. George Eliot praised it, though without very much emphasis, in the 'Westminster Review' October 1857.
All three volumes had been easel-pieces from which the author could hardly with reason expect pecuniary return, and from 1856, when Meredith severed his connection with Halliford, down to the close of 1858, we can only conjecture his means of support. Extremely poor, he almost despaired of literature while doing a certain amount of hackwork and supplementing his slender income by occasional journalism. He may possibly have received some assistance from his father's sisters. His home was temporarily fixed in London. There at 8 Hobury Street, Chelsea, 'The Ordeal of Richard Feverel,' commenced at The Limes, was concluded with comparative rapidity, during 1858-9. Published in 1859, it was reviewed with enthusiasm in 'Cope's Tobacco Plant' by James Thomson [q. v.] in May, and favourably by the 'Athenæum' on 9 July 1859 ; on 14 October 'The Times' devoted three columns to it. Mudie, it seems, took three hundred copies, but then lost nerve owing to suspicion of 'low ethical tone' formulated by the 'Spectator.' Tho main idea of the book, tho victimisation of the Fairy Prince hero by a fond paternal systom of education, was suggested by Herbert Spencer's famous article in the 'British Quarterly Review' (April 1858), with occasional hints from 'Tristram Shandy,' 'Émile,' and tho more recent 'The Caxtons.' In this book Meredith first and successfully assumes tho airily Olympian and omniscient manner which is the inspiration of Ida genius and is not explained by anything in his personal experience or training. But his power was little recognised. Nineteen years elapsed before a second edition was called for, and Meredith realised that he could not look to books for a living. Ho thereupon definitely accepted regular work for the 'Ipswich Journal,' now the 'East Anglian Daily Times.' The offer was duo to connections formed in his early London days through Charnock with Foakes, proprietor of the 'Ipswich Journal,' and other newspaper men, among whom was Algernon Borthwick. Every Thursday or Friday he posted a leading article (occasionally two, for the second of which he was expressly paid) and two columns of news-notes, for which he received approximately 200l. per annum. He spoke with feeling later of the Egyptian bondage of (tory) journalism ; but the leaders and notes were admirably done (Dolman, New Review, March 1893). Indirectly 'Richard Feverel' did Meredith service, for it brought him into nearer contact with Swinburne, Monckton Mihies, and the Pre-Raphaelite group. At a meeting with Swinburne during the summer of 1859 in the Isle of Wight, Swinburne at one sitting 'compased before our eyes his poem "Laus Veneris"' (M. Photiadès), and in a letter to the 'Spectator' of 7 June 1862 Swinburne protested with chivalrous eloquence against the freezing reception accorded to 'Modern Love' in the 'Spectator.' In 1859-60 Meredith had returned to the sand and pines and river that he loved, and it was while he was lodging in High Street, Esher, that Janet Duff Gordon stumbled accidentally upon him and his son Arthur. The Duff Gordons' proximity, between Esher and Oxshott, determined his settlement at Copsham in a fit dwelling for a poet, on a breezy common, close to the humming pine woods, behind Claremont and the Black Pool — a small lake surrounded by tall dark trees and frequented by a stately heron (Janet Ross, Early Days Recalled, 1891). At the Duff Gordons, he was introduced to notable people, such as Mrs. Norton, Kinglake Millais, Sir F.B. Head, G. F. Watts and at copeham he oontinued to live for six years. An epicure of aristocratic type in his zest for choice living and varied society, he was afflicted with a weak stomach and tormented by a constationial flatulence which ho sought to exercise by many-sided activity ; thenoe oame conference with and observation of all sorts and conditions of men. He scoured the countryside by night and day with a hawk's eye for uncommon types ; of sportsmen, cricketeers, prize-fighters, boxers, race meetings, and alehouse assemblies he was ever, as his books attest, a connoisseur. During the second half of 1859 he contributed six poems to successive numbers of 'Once a Week,' including 'The Last Words of Juggling Jerry' (3 Sept.), and on 11 Feb. 1860, besides submitting one or two short stories, traces of which have since disappeared, he began in the same periodical the serial publication of 'Evan Harrington, or He would be a Gentleman,' which was illustrated by Charles Keene. Keene, Sandys, Millais, and Rossetti were among the illustrators of 'Once a Week,' and with these Meredith became familiar. 'Evan Harrington' is the most real, and perhaps the most generally entertaining, of all Meredith's novels. It describes in a sardonic vein the frantic attempts of Evan's sisters (and sidelights here are assumed to have been drawn from a whimsical observation of his own paternal aunts) to escape from the Demogorgon of Tailordom. The spirit of 'Great Mel,' who dies before the action begins, pervades the book. In so far as he ever drew his characters direct from life Janet Duff Gordon (Mrs. Janet Ross from 1800), who begins now to be a regular oorrespondent, was his model for Rose Jocelyn (see Mrs. Ross, The Fourth Generation, 1912). 'Evan Harrington' was much more remunerative than its predecessor, and was pirated in America before the year was out. But again it proved a disappointment. The 'Saturday Review,' which had condemned 'Richard Feverel' for its affectations, wearisome word-painting, and immorality, described 'Evan Barrington' as a surprisingly good novel ; the other papers either ignored or damned it with vapid mouthings.
The next three years (1861-4) were among the busiest in Meredith's life, although his novel-writing was temporarily interrupted. He wrote much poetry, publishing in 1862 an autobiographical commentary (now in the mood of Hamlet, now in that of Leontes) upon his first love and his disillusion in 'Modern Love (perhaps 'the most intensely modem poem ever written') and Poems of the Enghsh Roadside.' The book included 'Juggling Jerry,' 'The Old Chartist,' and other poems reprinted from 'Once a Week,' besides twelve new poems. He became a contributor to the 'Morning Post,' and in 1862 began reading for the publishers Messrs. Chapman & Hall, in addition to his editorial contributions to the 'Ipswich Journal.' His connection with Chapman & Hall was soon close. Batches of manuscripts were forwarded periodically, and on blank enclosed slips headed by the titles, Meredith inscribed crisp, sharp, and epigrammatic criticism. Once a week or thereabouts he interviewed authors in the firm's old office, 193 Piccadilly. By rejecting 'East Lynne' it has been estimated that he lost the firm a round sum of money. He also declined works by Hugh Conway, Mrs. Lynn Linton, Mr. Baring Gould, Herman Merivale, Cuthbert Bede, Stepniak's 'Underground Russia,' 'The Heavenly Twins,' and 'Some Emotions and a Moral.' Samuel Butler's 'Erewhon' he dismissed with a 'Will not do,' and Shaw's 'Immaturity' with a 'No.' On the other hand he encouraged William Black, Sir Edwin Arnold, Thomas Hardy, Olive Schreiner, and George Gissing. Meredith was deeply interested in the work of his younger contemporaries ; Gissing and Thomas Hardy confessed no small obligation to his encouragement. But he often vacillated in his opinions of both current and past literature.
Meredith was now earning probably over 500l. a year ; the death of his wife in 1861 and of her mother-in-law. Lady Nicolls, within two years, meant the ultimate as well as the actual pecuniary responsibility for his son Arthur, to whom he had become perilously devoted. He was in Tirol and Italy with his son during the summer of 1861. Arthur was first sent in October 1862 to Norwich grammar school under Dr. Jessopp, who had become a close friend, and then to a Pestalozzi school near Berne (recommended by G. H. Lewes, suggestive in some ways of Wey bum's school in 'Lord Ormont'), and eventually to Stuttgart. A post was afterwards obtained for him in the De Koninck's firm at Havre and later (through Benecke) in a Unseed warehouse at Lille. He was provided for subsequently by a legacy from a great-aunt, and resided at Bergamo and Salo on Lake Guarda; he wrote some agreeable travel sketches (one of a raft journey from Bale to Rotterdam in 'Macmillan's Magazine '), Meredith sent him many stimulating, sympathetic, and profoundly touching letters, rarely of reproof, more often of reconciliation and bracing exhortation. Spoiled in childhood, of a jealous, self-conscious temperament, suspicious, not without just cause, of a certain lack of consideration on the part of his father, Arthur became, in spite of welcome offered, an incompatible figure at his father's home ; his health was ever declining, and he died at Woking at the house of his half-sister, Mrs. Clarke (Edith Nicolls).
Meredith was still in the early 'sixties living economically at Copsham, but his friendships were extending and his visitors were numerous. His intimate circle included William Hardman (later of the 'Morning Post'), Mr. H. M. Hyndman, Frederick Jameson, Frederic Chapman the publisher, J. A. Cotter Morison, Rossetti, Swinburne (who interchanged satires and squibs with him), William Tinsley, Mr. Lionel Robinson, and Frederic Maxse. He was known among them as 'Robin,' Hardman as 'Friar Tuck,' and Mr. Robinson as 'Poco.' To Frederick Augustus Maxse [q. v. Suppl. I.], a very close associate, he dedicated 'By the Rosanna' (Oct. 1861), as well as 'Modern Love' (1862); with him he sailed on a stormy voyage to Cherbourg in The Grebe, a cutter yacht, in 1858, and he took a brief walking tour round Godalming in July 1861; In May 1862 Meredith and Hardman tramped round Mickleham and Dorking. Entertainment was drawn from the associations of Burford Bridge (Keats), The Rookery (Malthus), and Albury (Tupper), and many aphorisms were read by 'Robin' from his note-books. Soon after this Meredith paid a visit to his friend Hyndman at Trinity College, Cambridge, and made acquaintance with university life for the first time. He spent Christmas 1862 with the Hardmans. In the early summer of 1863 he was at Seaford with Bumand, Hjudman, and the FitzGeralds, and Hyndman relates how, after much fine open talk, a good deal of it monologue, upon the beach, Bumand exclaimed 'Damn you, George, why don't you write as you talk?' In August, Meredith and Hyndman were at Paris together, reading Renan's 'Vie de Jesus,' and visiting Vefour's, Versailles, Sevres, and admiring the ædileship of Napoleon III. On 23 August Meredith left to join his friend Mr. Lionel Robinson at Grenoble, trudging thence like a packman through Dauphiné and the Graian Alps. He went abroad upon several occasions with Mr. Robinson, and began to store up material for his marvellous Alpine effects, making a study of pasess and visiting more than once the villa of friends on Lake Como. In January and again in October 1863 he went on a cruise in Cotter Morison's yacht, Irene, on the second occasion to the Channel Islands. The acquaintance with Morison was begun some three years earlier, when Morison was fresh from Oxford, where he had formed an intimacy with Mr. John Morley. In 1862 Morison sought Meredith's counsel in correcting the proofs of his 'Life of St. Bernard' (Meredith always called him 'St. Bernard' afterwards). Meredith denounced him for writing in Carlylese, 'a wind-in-the-orchard style,' and Morison was eventually induced to re-write and simplify much of it. Through Morison, Meredith grew rapidly more intimate with Mr. Jolm Morley, and this friendship proved of material importance to him. He meanwhile resisted pressing invitations to leave Copsham to settle in London with Rossetti and Swinburne at their 'phalanstery,' the Queen's House (Tudor House), Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. Meredith went so far as to take a room in their house in 1861-2. But Rossetti's Bohemianisms were distasteful to him ; he seldom went to the house, and after three months paid no more rent. About this time he joined the Garrick Club (elected 23 April 1864, resigned 1899), where he was soon to meet Frederick Greenwood and others, who admired and helloed him much.
Of his personal appearance at this period Meredith's friends have recorded ample impressions. Sir F. Bumand, who first saw him at Esher talking to his publisher, 'Pater' Evans (of Bradbury & Evans), and was introduced by Maurice FitzGerald, nephew of Edward FitzGerald [q. v.], wrote : 'George strode towards us ... he never merely walked, never lounged ; he strode, he took giant strides. He had on a soft, shapeless wide-awake, a sad-coloured flannel shirt, with low open collar turned over a brilliant scarlet neckerchief tied in a loose sailor's knot ; no waistcoat ; knickerbockers, grey stockings, and the most serviceable laced boots which evidently meant business in pedestrianism ; crisp curly brownish hair, ignorant of parting ; a fine brow, quick observant eyes, greyish, if I remember ; beard and moustache a trifle lighter than the hair. A splendid head, a memorable personality. Then his sense of humour, liis cynicism, and his absolutely boyish enjoyment of mere fun, of any pure and simple absurdity. Hill laugh was something to bear; it was of short duration, but it was a roar.' A portrait of the same date ezists in the pen-drawing of 'Mary Magdalen at the Gate of Simon the Pharisee' by D. O. Rossetti, in which the figure of Christ was George Meredith drawn from tho life. According to another friend, H. M. Hyndman. Meredith's physical strength in early manhood was great. 'He was all wife and whipcord. ... I shall never forget a playful struggle I had with him in the Dolphin Hotel at Chiohester, where we were staying with a party for Goodwood races. I was then strong and active and thought I was pretty good at a rough tumble, but he wore me down by all endurance' (Justice, May 1910). He was addicted to throwing up and catching a heavy iron weight at the end of a wooden shaft — which he called his 'beetle exercise.' Over-indulgence in this, it is thought, sowed the seeds of future spinal trouble. His robustness, never so great in reality as in appearance, was also impaired for a time about 1862 and (later) by a fanatical but generally short-lived ardour for vegetarianism, with which his friend Maxse infected him. From Hardman he imbibed a faith in homoeopathy. He was habitually fastidious and often difficult (to the utmost acerbity) about the quality and dressing of his food.
In 1863, while still at Copsham, Meredith reconcentrated upon fiction, and submitted to the gradual intensification of labour which the completion of a novel always involved. In April 1864 he brought out 'Emilia in England' (afterwards rechristened 'Sandra Belloni'), the only story which he furnished with a sequel (in 'Vittoria,' 1866). Emilia's passion for Italy forms the central theme of the whole. Her figure, the most beautiful and elaborate he had yet portrayed, dominates the two novels. Nowhere are the gems of his insight more lavishly scattered. There are admirable woodland scenes. At the same time he first formulates his anti-sentimental philosophy and his growing belief in the purifying flame of the Comic Spirit. The reception of the book was, however, meagre.
In September 1864 Meredith married Marie, fourth daughter of Justin Vulliamy (d. 1870), of the Old Houae, Mickleham; her mother Elizabeth Boll came of an old Cheshire family. Meredith got to know the Vulhamys through his friend N. E. S. A. Hamilton of the British Museum, and first met his future wife in Norfolk. The Vulliamys were of Swiss Huguenot origin [see Vulliamy, Benjamin Lewis]. After a few weeks at Pear Tree Cottage, Bursledon, Meredith and his wife took lodgings and then a lease of Kingston Lodge, Norbiton, almost opposite the gates of Norbiton Hall, where Hardman resided. Meredith was at the moment full of schemes, 'laying traps for money.' He had hopes of conducting a review, writing rambling remarks, an autobiography. He settled down in a chastened frame of mind to complete 'Rhoda Fleming,' but in the meantime he had improved has position with Chapman & Hall. His enthusiasm for Norbiton, where his son, William Maxse, was born on 26 July 1865, cooled down as buildings began to close in his horizon, and at the end of 1867 he moved to Flint Cottage, facing Box Hill, near Burford Bridge, in Mickleham. There, the scene of Miss Austen's 'Emma,' his opportunities of seeing and knowing people who were useful to him as types were ever enlarging. He became attached to the literary associations of the place, its connections with Keats, with the French exiles of Juniper Hall, and with the Bumeys. He knew mid-Surrey extraordinarily well, and, devoted to outdoor life, he acquired a detailed and intimate knowledge of the natural history of the countryside (cf. Grant Allen, in Pall Mall Gazette, May 1904). He is probably the closest observer of nature among English novelists. At the top of the sloping garden, about four minutes' remove from Flint Cottage, he put up in 1875-6 a Norwegian chalet where, in one of the two rooms, he slung his 'hammock-cot,' and could live alone with his characters for days together. On the terrace in front of the chalet, whence he descended to meals, he was often to be heard carrying on dialogues with his characters and singing with unrestrained voice. Whimsical and sometimes Rabelaisian fabrications accompanied the process of quickening the blood by a spin (a favourite word with him) over Surrey hills. There he wrote his master-works, 'Beauchamp's Career' and 'The Egoist,' and welcomed his friends, often reading aloud to them in magnificent recitative, unpublished prose or verse.
After his second marriage Meredith mainly devoted himself to 'Vittoria,' the sequel of 'Emilia,' Marie, his 'capital wife' and 'help-meet,' copying the chapters. G. H. Lewes, editor of the 'Fortnightly,' eventually offered 250l. for the serial rights, and 'Vittoria' in an abbreviated form ran through that Review (January-December 1865). Meanwhile he completed a new novel, 'Rhoda Fleming.' He had promised upon his marriage to 'write now in a different manner,' and 'Rhoda' (originally 'The Dyke Farm'), expanded and much altered in process of construction, yet written consistently against the grain, was the fruit of this conformity. It was adequately reviewed on 18 Oct. 1865 in the 'Morning Post,' with whose proprietor Borthwick his relations were cordial, and hardly anywhere else. 'Rhoda Fleming' is, comparatively speaking, a plain tale, mostly about love, and concerned primarily with persons in humble life. He attempts the delicate task of describing the innate purity of a woman after a moral lapse.
In May 1866 Meredith was sent out by the 'Morning Post' as special correspondent with the Italian forces then in the last phase of the war with Austria. He stayed at the Hotel Cavour in Milan, and afterwards at the Hotel Vittoria in Venice, awaiting events and forgathering with the other special correspondents at the Cafe Florian. Hyndman was there, and Charles Brackenbury, and G. A. Sala, an antipathetic figure, with whom Meredith was nearly drawn into a serious quarrel. He saw something of the inconclusive operations in Italy and addressed thirteen interesting and vivid letters in plain prose to the paper, the first dated Ferrara, 22 June 1866, and the last Marseilles, 24 July 1866 (reprinted in memorial edition, vol. xxiii. and privately printed as 'Correspondence from the Seat of War in Italy'). For a time Meredith had some hopes of becoming 'The Times' correspondent in Italy, Paris, or elsewhere. As he went home over the Stelvio pass and then by way of Vienna, where he met Leslie Stephen for the first time, he collected fresh material for the revision and expansion of his 'Fortnightly' novel, 'Vittoria' (or 'Emiha in Italy'), which was published on his return to England in 1866. This novel of the revolution of 1848-9 has a complex plot in which Charles Albert, Mazzini, and other historic persons figure ; the opening scene on the summit of Monte Motterone, walked over in company with 'Poco,' ranks with that of 'Harry Richmond' or 'The Amazing Marriage.' On its publication the style of the book was complained of as that of prose trying to be poetry, and the author in essaying the novel of history was warned against handicapping himself by extra weight. Swinburne, however, overflowed with generous praise. In 1867 Mr. John Morley became editor of the 'Fortnightly Review,' and Meredith's contributions to it, which included some rewiews of new books, grew frequent. During part of 1807-8 Mr. Morley was alment in America and Meredith was left in charge of the magazine. In 1868 Meredith made his single incursion into active politics by assisting his friend Maxse, who was standing as radical candidate for Southampton. His powers were now at their ripest, and during 1809 and 1870 ho was engaged on the great first-person romance of 'The Adventures of Harry Richmond.' Serial publication in the 'Cornhill' was arranged on liberal terms (500l. for copyright and 100l, on sale of 500 copies), and the first part appeared in Sept. 1870. There were fifteen illustrations by Du Maurier. The father and son theme of 'Feverel' is reanimated in an atmosphere at times dazzlingly operatic ; Richmond Roy, on whose character Meredith lavished all his powers, stalks larger than life alongside of Wilkins Micawber and My Uncle Toby. Not one of the author's books rivals this one in invention.
Meanwhile Meredith, whose sympathy with France was increasing in strength, though he admitted now that the war was chargeable on France and its emperor, wrote for the 'Fortnightly' (Jan. 1871) a rather cryptic defensive poem — 'France, 1870,' which formed the nucleus of his 'Odes in Contribution to the Song of French History.' French history and memoir (especially Napoleonic) and the fruitage of European travel remained his favourite pastime to the end. In 1872 his friend Leslie Stephen welcomed to the 'Cornhill' his 'Song of Theodolinda.' Meredith spent short holiday seasons more than once in the early seventies in the neiglibourhood of Dreux at Nonancourt on the were, where his wife's brothers owned wool-spinning mills. His succeeding book, 'Beauchamp's Career,' is enriched by local colour derived from observations made during this Norman sojourn as well as at the Cafe Florian in 1860. The next two novels, 'Beauchamp's Career' and 'The Egoist,' mark the summit of Meredith's power of concentration. The first, 'Beauchamp's Career' (refused by 'Cornhill'), began to appear in a painfully condensed form in the 'Fortnightly' in August 1874. The book protests through the brains of Beauchamp, the young naval officer (a reflection of Maxse), on the one hand against lolling aristocrats who refuse to lead and against the false idols of Manchester on the other ; the complex hero is hampered by apple-fever (as Meredith styles his prepossession for some of the fairest daughters of Eve) and at time by a species of megalomania. The construction keeps the interest intensely alive, and the book ends with the sting of the hero's death by drowning.
Meredith waft at this time aoqairing new friends, among whom were Moncure Conway, R. L. Stevenson, Rtutell Lowell, and W. E. Henley ; his hooks were beccoming known among the younger generation at Oxford ; he was seen in London, though never a familiar figure there, at picture exhibitions or conoerts, or dining at Krehl's in Hanover Square. He was preparing to drop his work for the Ipswich paper, done as he said with his toes to leave room for serener operations above, but was still dependent pecuniarily to a considerable extent upon journalism and reading for Chapman & Hall. He managed to combine with his weekly expedition to London a reading engagement to Miss Wood, 'the great lady of Eltham,' an aunt of Sir Evelyn Wood, a woman of great intelligence, with whom he often discussed contemporary topics. This brought in an appreciable addition to his income. After the reading he returned to the Garrick to dine and then by the 8.40 train from London Bridge to Box Hill. The cool reception accorded to his 'favourite child,' 'Beauchamp's Career' (despite a highly favourable notice by Traill in the 'Pall Mall'), chilled him. Mark Pattison spoke of his name on a book as a label to novel-readers, warning them not to touch. Two short stories in the 'New Quarterly Magazine' — 'The House on the Beach' (Jan. 1877) and 'The Case of General Ople and Lady Camper,' a little masterpiece (July 1877) — added range to his repute. In a lecture on 'The Idea of Comedy and the Uses of the Comic Spirit,' which he delivered at the London Institution on 1 Feb. 1877, he defined one of his dominant conceptions of life — the destined triumph of comedy in its tireless conflict with sentimentalism. The lecture was printed with amendments in the 'New Quarterly Magazine' and not separately until 1897. Meredith continued to harp upon the function of the Comic Spirit, notably in the prelude to 'The Egoiat,' in the 'Ode to the Comic Spirit,' and in 'The Two Masks.'
After the lecture a new period in Meredith's career as a novelist opens. For a quarter of a century he had been producing novels of the first rank. Yet his best work was still addressed to empty benches, Henceforth he abandoned any idea of a compromise with his readers. He determined to write in his own way, upon his own themes uninterruptedly. In 'The Egoist' (3 vols. 1879) or 'Sir Willoughby Patterne, The Egoist,' as it was first called when it began to run through the 'Glasgow Weekly Herald' in June 1879, he develops a new novel-formula consisting of a kind of fugue — innumerable variations upon one central theme, that of the fatuity of a pontifical egoism, mercilessly exposed by the search-lights of the Comic Spirit. 'I had no idea of the matter,' wrote Stevenson when rereading the novel, 'human red matter he has contrived to plug and pack into this strange and admirable book. Willoughby is of course a fine discovery, a complete set of nerves not heretofore examined, and yet running all over the human body — a suit of nerves ... I see more and more that Meredith is built for immortality.' The noble but 'coltish' Vernon Whitford is sketched after the author's friend Leslie Stephen. The book was hastily written in five months, by night as well as by day, to the injury of health. It was the first among Meredith's novels to provoke a crossfire of criticism. Henley reviewed it three (or four) times, frankly as regarded the ingrained peculiarities of the style, but with an almost reverential admiration for its analytic power. Mr. William Watson attacked (in National Review, October 1889) the plethoric mentality of the writer, his fantastic foppery of expression, oracular air of superiority, and sham profundity. The controversy did the author no harm. The three volumes of 1879 were followed by a second one-volume edition in 1880. This fact, the reprints of 'Shagpat' and 'Feverel' and 'Love in the Valley,' the appearance of 'Feverel' and 'Beauchamp's Career' in Tauchnitz editions, and the reproduction of several of the novels in America, all began to point to a rediscovery on the part of the public of the Meredith revealed by 'The Times' in 1869 and then obscured for twenty years.
Meredith next published 'The Tale of Chloe,' a short story of a singular and grievous pathos, in the 'New Quarterly Magazine' (July 1879), and then began sketching in the first instance from newspaper reports, and from 'Meine Beziehungen zu Ferdinand Lassalle' by Hélène von Racowitza (Breslau, 1879), a contemporary romance, the love story and death in a duel of Ferdinand Lassalle, the German socialist. Meredith called his dramatic recital 'The Tragic Comedians,' and enriched it with some of his most brilliant and original epigrams. It first appeared in the 'Fortnightly' (Oct. 1880-Feb. 1881), and was enlarged for separate publication (by Kegan Paul) in December 1880. In spite of his imperfect materials, Meredith accurately assessed the values of his hero and heroine, Alvan (Lassalle) a Titan, a sun-god, inured to success, of Jewish race, a revolutionary and a free-liver, and Clotilde (Hélène von Dönniges) a Christian girl from a noble and exclusive, demagogue-hating family of the Philistines. The book attracted attention, was taken over by Chapman & Hall in 1881, and was reprinted in America and in the Tauchnitz collection. In 1879 he had by hard exertion carved out a good holiday, spent partly in Patterdale with Mr. John Morley, and partly in Dauphine and Normandy. But premonitions of advancing ill-health, a growing sense of neglect, and the necessities of unremitting labour saddened him. For a time he was estranged from his son Arthur, but news of Arthur's spitting blood in June 1881 awoke the old tenderness, and next year he made a Mediterranean excursion with him. Meanwhile the enthusiastic devotion of literary friends was increasing. In 1882 he joined Leslie Stephen's society of Sunday Tramps, which more than once made Box Hill a base for the ascent of Leith Hill. In 1882 the Stevensons visited him. In 1883 he met Sir Charles Dilke and Prof. R. C. Jebb for the first time. He was cheered by Browning's appreciation of his verse.
In May 1883 he brought out his most notable poetic volume, 'Poems and Lyrics of the Joy of Earth,' no testimony to his wisdom, he describes it. Here we have, with a few personal poems, such as the verses to J[ohn] M[orley] and 'To a Friend Lost' (Tom Taylor, whose 'Lady Clancarty' he had applauded), the finished version of 'Love in the Valley,' and lyrics such as 'The Lark Ascending,' 'Earth and Man,' 'Melampus,' and 'The Woods of Westermain,' which satisfactorily answer the complaint that Meredith's 'Philosophical Lyrics' contain too much brain and too little music or magnetism. He urges the need of the mutual working of blood (the flesh, senses, bodily vigour) and brain, and the steering of a course between ascetic rocks and sensual whirlpools, in quest of spiritual exaltation.
In 1884—5 there ran through the 'Fortnightly Review' chapters i.-xxvi. of 'Diana of the Crossways' (so named after a beautiful old Surrey farm house, pictured in the memorial edition). The book (with a dedication to one of his Sunday Tramp friends, Sir Frederick Pollock) appeared in 1885, and three editions were exhausted during the year. At length the general public was captured. Diana was clearly modelled upon the brilliant Caroline Sheridan, the Hon. Mrs. Norton [q. v.], whom he had met at the Duff Gordons before 1860, and who was long a favourite theme of society gossip. The legend of her having betrayed to 'The Times' the secret confided to her by Sidney Herbert that Peel had resolved on the repeal of the Corn Laws was of later growth, and Meredith was subsequently persuaded by the Dufferins to repudiate the popular identification of Mrs. Norton's career with that of his heroine. The book was blessed by Henley in the 'Athenæum' and the heroine celebrated as of the breed of Shakespeare and of Molidre. A parody appeared among 'Mr. Punch's Prize Novels,' and society grew alive to the peculiar flash of the Meredithian epigram. Invitations from society and societies inundated him, and Box Hill became a place of pilgrimage. Collective editions of his works were arranged and proposals were made to dramatise 'Evan Harrington' and 'The Egoist.' The belated success coincided tragically with the insidious development of a spinal complaint and with the serious and soon hopeless malady of his wife. Two operations proved ineffectual, and she died on 17 Sept. 1885. Despite ebullitions of temper, which appeared at times almost uncontrollable, Meredith was devotedly attached to one who protected him not only from himself but also from adroit strangers, concerning whose claims upon his attention he was often far too sanguine. It was to the poetic mood that his mind reverted during this period of privation and suffering. The years 1887-8 yielded two of his most characteristic volumes of verse, 'Ballads and Poems of Tragic Life' and 'A Reading of Earth' — the last containing 'The South-Wester,' 'The Thrush in February,' 'Nature and Life,' 'Dirge in Woods,' and above all the 'Hymn to Colour,' with the touching epitaph 'M. M.' The 'Nature Poems' were collected with beautiful drawings by W. Hyde, 1898 (sm. fol.).
His temper mellowed greatly during his last twenty years, and he became in a sense far more approachable. In 1887 he spent a month at St. Ives in Cornwall to be near his friends the Leslie Stephens. In July 1888 he dined at the Blue Posts tavern in Bond Street with (Lord) Haldane and Mr. Asquith, sitting between Mr. A. J. Balfour and Mr. John Morley. In August 1888 he paid A visit to his younger son William, who was interested in an eleotrical engineering firm with business in South Wales, and was at Tenby, Llandilo, Towyn, Aod Breeon (see Cardiff Western Mall, 12 Feb. 1908). In 1889 he was at Browning's funeral 'The Ring and the Book' and Tennyson's 'Lucretius' were among his favourite poems. Similarity of temperament with his elder son Arthur precluded equable relations but he was distressed and made despendent by the news of Arthur's death at Woking in March 1890, when he himself was shaken and ill. In 1892 he underwent the first of three operations for stone in the bladder.
Meanwhile in 1889 Meredith returned to fiction. The most individual of the later novels, a new study of modern femininity, 'One of our Conquerors,' ran simultaneously through the 'Fortnightly,' 'Australasian,' and 'New York Sun' (Oct.-May 1890-1). 'When I was sixty,' Meredith wrote, 'and a small legacy had assured my pecuniary independence,! took it into my head to serve these gentlemen (the critics) a strong done of my most indigestible production. Nothing drove them so crazy as "One of our Conquerors."' In the prologue Meredith's mania for analogy, epigram, and metaphors runs riot. 'Lord Ormont and his Aminta,' in which a similar motive — that of people rendered strangers to themselves by a false position — is reinvoked, first appeared in the 'Pall Mall Magazine' (Dec. 1893-Aug. 1894). Issued separately in three volumes by Chapman & Hall in 1894 (and by Scribners in America), it was gratefully inscribed to the surgeon who had operated on him, George Buckston Browne. The basis of the story is to be found in the secret marriage of the famous Charles Mordaunt, earl of Peterborough [q. v.], in 1735 with Anastasia Robinson. The novel, which reverts to an easier style of writing than 'One of our Conquerers,' contains many of the writer's adroitest sayings. Meredith still had several novels in solution in his mind, the names of which have partially survived, such as 'Sir Harry Firebrand of the Beacon,' 'A Woman a Battle,' and a novel dealing with the oareer of Lady Sarah Lennox, in addition to the half- finished 'Celt and Saxon' (sketch on a great scale in 1890), the torso of which applied in the 'Fortnightly' in 1910 and subsequently in the memorial edition (vol. XX.) ; but the last completed novel at which he travailed hard in 1894 was 'The Amazing Marriage,' in which the character of Woodseer, the virtuoso of nature and style, was a long-promised sketch of one of his friends, in this case R. L. Stevenson. The story had been begun and laid aside in 1879 ; it was resumed in 1894 at the urgent instance of his friend Frederick Jameson, to whom the work was dedicated. 'The Amazing Marriage' shows no declension of power — the style is less mannered than that of its three predecessors, but the subject-matter is almost extravagantly varied and complex. The arrangement affords the reader two peeps at English society of an almost Disraelian luxuriance, respectively in 1814 and 1839. The work appeared serially in 'Scribner's Magazine' (Jan.-Dec. 1895), and was published in two volumes in the same year by Constable & Co. His son William had recently joined this firm, which now assembled (under the author's direction) the copyrights of all his works and in 1896 commenced a collective edition de luxe in thirty-six volumes (completed 1910-11).
Meredith's life-work in prose fiction, which taxed his brain and health far more severely than his verse, was now completed. Henceforth he was regarded by the enlightened public as literary and political arbitrator and court of appeal, and in that capacity wrote during his later years various poems, platform letters, introductions, and the like, his opinions being cited in the newspapers in every form and context. His mental activity though still formidable was evidently more upon the surface than it had been during the harassing turmoil of the creative period. For the last six- teen years, owing to paraplegia, he had to abandon the physical activities which had been such an important element in his life and thought.
In 1892, upon the death of Tennyson, Meredith was elected president of the Society of Authors. In 1894 he relinquished his long established relation as reader with Chapman & Hall. In 1895 his quiet routine was broken by visits from the Daudets and Mr. Henry James and in July by a visit of ceremony of the Omar Khayyam Club, upon which occasion Mr. Edward Clodd ('Sir Reynard') 'discovered his brush' by eliciting a speech in answer to laudatory apostrophes by Thomas Hardy and George Gissing. Five years later he welcomed a similar visitation from the Whitefriars Club. In 1898 Leslie Stephen forwarded him a parchment bearing the felicitations of the authors of the day upon the attainment of his seventieth birthday. A similar tribute was paid him ten years later on his eightieth birthday. Among other honours were the vice-presidency of the London Library in 1902 and the Order of Merit in 1905, together with the rarely bestowed gold medal of the Royal Society of Literature.
In 1905 Meredith had the misfortune to break his leg, but he made an excellent recovery. Keenly alert and abreast 'of modern movements and interested in the work of the younger men, he envied only the power to be one of the active workers. On 13 April 1909 he wrote his last letter — an expression of condolence — to Mr. Watts-Dun ton, on Swinburne's death. He insisted on being taken out in his bath-chair in all weathers. On 14 May 1909 he caught a slight chill ; on the 16th he was taken ill. He died quietly on 18 May at Flint Cottage in the presence of his son, William Maxse, his daughter, Marie Eveleen ('Dearie'), wife of Henry Parkman Sturges, and his faithful nurse, Bessie Nicholls. A request from leading men of the day (and the expressed wish of Edward VII) for Meredith's burial in Westminster Abbey was refused by the dean. After cremation his ashes were laid beside his wife in Dorking cemetery (23 May), as he had himself arranged that they should be. On the day of his funeral some verses in terza rima by Mr. Thomas Hardy appeared in 'The Times,' and a memorial service was held in the Abbey. At Browning's funeral he had expressed the sentiment 'better the green grass turf than Abbey pavements.' On the headstone of his simple grave reclines an open book with the lines from 'Vittoria,' 'Life is but a little holding. Lent to do a mighty labour.' His will, dated Aug. 1892, was proved by his son. Lord Morley, and Mr. J. C. Deverell of Pixham Firs, Dorking (see The Times, 26 June 1909), his property being divided between son and daughter, with remainder to their children.
Meredith inherited a fine figure, and (strikingly good looking as a young man, when his abundant hair was chestnut red) his face grew handsomer as he grew older. He was in his heyday vividly and victoriously alive and had the optimism of high vitality. 'When I ceased to walk briskly part of my life was ended.' He was devoted to English fare ; a connoisseur of cigars, he glowed over a generous wine and was proud of his small cellar ; his hospitality was exquisite. He had a delicate, untrained ear for good music, and could play well by ear. He talked rotundly and resonantly (and several good phonographic records of his reading voice are preserved) on every topic discussed in Burton's 'Anatomy.' Many thought him greater in conversation than in any other art.
Meredith's novels are more like Platonic dialogues than works of fiction. His characters have as a rule singularly little volition or speech of their own. The voice of their creator can be heard perpetually prompting them from behind a screen. The poems fill the interstices of thought in the novels. Oscar Wilde said with some point that Meredith had mastered everything but language : as a novelist he could do anything except tell a story, as an artist he was everything except articulate. To this it might be replied that he sought commonly to adumbrate conceptions not susceptible to lucid or exact statement, that he did not wish to narrate a story but to exemplify projections of his individual imagination. He was articulate enough when he desired to be so. He never pretended to make or take things easy ; and the 'pap and treacle' style in fiction or poetry was his special abhorrence. But the novel was more or less accidental to him. It was his object in the capacity of virtuoso to express a code of connoisseurship in life and conduct. He delineates character by a strange shorthand process of his own ; his men, and especially his women, transcend ordinary human nature, yet his heroines, and chief among them his 'English roses,' can hardly be matched outside Shakespeare. His descriptive power and insight into the secret chambers of the brain were indeed superb. But description, character, plot were in the novels wholly subservient to the ideals of his imagination. Thoroughly tonic in quality, his writings are (as Lamb said of Shakespeare) essentially manly.
Of posthumous works by Meredith the chief were the unfinished story of 'Celt and Saxon' ('Fortnightly Review,' Jan.-Aug. 1910), containing an interesting resume of some of his frequent race speculations ; 'The Sentimentalists,' a conversation comedy (of two distinct periods) begun at the period of his conception of the Pole family in his most laboured work, 'Emilia in England.' It was produced at the Duke of York's Theatre on 1 March 1910, and subsequently achieved a succ6s d'estime (see Eye-Witness, 2 Nov. 1911); and 'Last Poems by George Meredith,' including 'Milton,' 'Trafalgar Day,' 'The Call,' 'The Crisis,' 'The Warning,' and other poems emphasising England's need of a general defensive service. In the same year the definitive memorial edition was begun, and has been completed in twenty-seven volumcd (1909-11): it includes all his writings (letters only excluded), together with various reading and a bibliography. A collection of Meredith's Letters edited by his son appeared in 1912. The most notable portraits are the painting by G. F. Watts in 1893 in the National Portrait Gallery (not a good likeness, the drypoint etching of Mortimer Menpea (1900), drawings by Mr. J. S, Sargent of 1901, and William Strang's portrait commissioned by King Edward VII for the royal collection at Windsor. Two caricatures appeared in 'Punch,' by E. J. Wheeler. 19 Dec. 1891. and by E. T. Reed, 28 July 1894. A caricature by Max Beerbohm appeared in 'Vanity Fair,' 24 Sept. 1896. Of the later portraits the photograph by his friend Mn. Seymour Trower (Mem. Ed. xxii.) is inferior to that at the age of eighty given in the second volume of the Letters. But Meredith was a refractory subject, and though he had a fine portrait of his wife by his friend Frederick Sandys in his sitting-room he would never con.sent to give Sandys an adequate sitting. An early photograph is given in memorial edition, vol. vii., and two others first appear in the Letters (Oct. 1912). A bronze medallion by Theo<lore Spicer-Simpson was placed in the miniature room. National Portrait Gallery, in 1910.
Of Meredith's manuscripts, which attest throughout the intense and laborious character of the author's workmanship, the original autographs of 'Celt and Saxon,' 'The Egoist,' and 'One of our Conquerors' were deposited on loan in the British Museum by the novelist's son and daughter in 1910. Other MS. works were given by Meredith as a means of provision to his faithful attendant, Frank Cole, and his trained nurse, Bessie NichoUs, his seven years attendant. Of these 'The Tragic Comedians' fetched 220/., 'A Conqueror of our Time' (an early version of 'One of our Conquerors,' with no fewer than four versions of chapter xiv.) 260l., 'Diana of the Crossways,' in the earlv serial form, 168l., 'A Reading of Earth.' 205l.; 'The Amazing Marriage' and 'The Tale of Chloe' were also offered for sale (sec The Times, 2, 4, 26 Nov., 1 and 2 Dec. 1910).
[The article is based primarily upon the numerous accounts and reminiscences which appeared in the London press in May 1909 (see The Times 20 and 27 May); on two well-packed articles by Mr. Edward Clodd in the Fortnightly (July 1909) and by Mr. Stewart M. Ellis in the same review, April 1912 (invaluable for ancestral details); on personal information kindly given by