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The private papers of Henry Ryecroft

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  86 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
For more than a week my pen has lain untouched. I have written nothing for seven whole days- not even a letter. (Excerpt)
Paperback, 6 pages
Published January 28th 1982 by Harvester Press (first published 1902)
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Elizabeth (Alaska)
This is definitely fiction, but the line between George Gissing and his Henry Ryecroft is perhaps a bit blurred. Ryecroft was a writer, but is now retired, having received an unexpected small inheritance. Gissing opens the volume with a preface outlining how, upon the death of his friend Ryecroft, he was called upon to go through his things, which included some writings over the last few years of his life. This little volume consists of the mental wanderings and reminiscences of the fictitious R ...more
Lisa
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Ouyang Yu (references it in The English Class)
The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft purports to be the papers of a recently-deceased writer; aspects of it are autobiographical. The narrator who is tidying up his dead friend’s estate wonders why the hack writer had never written the novel he wanted to, and thinks it might be because ‘Ryecroft’ could not decide on the form.

'I imagine him shrinking from the thought of a first-person volume; he would feel it too pretentious; he would bid himself wait for the day of riper wisdom'. (The Private P
...more
Robin Friedman
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry Ryecroft

"The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft" (1903) was once the most widely-read work of the English novelist George Gissing (1857 - 1903). It was Gissing's own favorite among his works. The book appeared in the year of Gissing's death. Gissing lived a difficult life which became the basis for much of his over 20 novels. As a youth, he was expelled from an exclusive school and imprisoned for stealing to support a prostitute, with whom he subsequently made an unhappy marriage. He lived i
...more
Lauren Albert
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Don't think of this as a novel but as a collection of personal essays by a fictional character. I really liked the first half of the book and then it got dull. Though I found the pieces on English cooking funny (if the food is good, he says, it doesn't need sauce).
Still, all through I copied passages many of which made me nod to myself some of these I've shared below.

"In those days money represented nothing to me, nothing I cared to think about, but the acquisition of books."

"I cannot preserve
...more
Stephanie
Slow, collection of essays
Carolle
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept finding myself copying quotes and sending them to friends. I will have to get a copy for myself. The 1915 publication I read had great paper. A real joy to read.
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George Robert Gissing was an English novelist who published twenty-three novels between 1880 and 1903. From his early naturalistic works, he developed into one of the most accomplished realists of the late-Victorian era.
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“Nowhere is the English genius of domesticity more notably evident than in the festival of afternoon tea. The [...] chink of cups and the saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.” 14 likes
“Money is made at Christmas out of holly and mistletoe, but who save the vendors would greatly care if no green branch were procurable? One symbol, indeed, has obscured all others--the minted round of metal. And one may safely say that, of all the ages since a coin first became the symbol of power, ours is that in which it yields to the majority of its possessors the poorest return in heart's contentment.” 9 likes
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