Manuscript Draft of Veranilda

Scope and Content

This novel remained unfinished at Gissing's death in 1903, being published posthumously in 1904. This manuscript contains eight autograph pages, six of a heavily annotated first draft of chapter one [leaves marked in Gissing's hand: Chapter 1, 4, 5, 10 and 12, an early version in which there is no character named Veranilda, and two final leaves [marked in Gissing's hand 115 and 116], less heavily annotated, which are the last words written by Gissing before his death on 28 December 1903.

In addition to the manuscript leaves there is a note in Gabrielle Fleury's hand: "The 2 last pages of Vernanilda which I found in 1929 by chance between G.G.'s blotting paper. Glle GF", and part of the title-page of Gissing's copy of Table Talk by Coleridge, with Gissing's signature and the date 87.

Related Material

See also GRG/1/2/8 , Gissing's Unfinished Romance, an article on the novel by Gissing's son, Alfred. The Carl H. Pforzheimer Library, New York has the original autograph MS of which the leaves 115 and 116 here form the last two pages.

In an article on Veranilda written in 1937, Gissing's son, Alfred, writes of his style: In glancing casually through the neat and scholarly leaves of the manuscript of his sixth-century romance, one is struck by the thorough way in which, despite the anxiety that characterized its progress in his efforts to complete the book before the year 1903 drew to an end, he has revised and improved so many passages... In his English he strove hard after perfection and every touch of revision brought him perceptibly nearer to it.