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Books Unbound – Safe as Houses, Part One: ‘The House of Cobwebs’ by George Gissing

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A struggling writer finds unexpected kindness and friendship from his poor landlord in this short story by George Gissing, whom George Orwell ranked among the best English novelists. Heather Perry reads.

Gissing (1857–1903) neither sought nor enjoyed popularity, and is little known today, although his novel New Grub Street ranks on the Guardian’s list of top 100 novels written in English. “The House of Cobwebs” is timely for American readers in its depiction of inequal