awl and a petticoat, her thin hair, black streaked with grey, knotted and pinned into a ball on the top of her head. Here and there about the kitchen ran four children, who were snatching a sort of picnic breakfast whilst they made ready for school. They looked healthy enough, and gabbled, laughed, sang, without heed to the elder folk. Their mother, healthy too, and with no ill-natured face-a slow, dull, sluggishly-mirthful woman of a common London type-heard Moggie out, and shook up the sausages before replying.
"Never you mind Miss Sparkes; I'll give her a talkin' to when she comes down. What was it as Mr. Gammon wanted? Breakfast in bed? And what else? I never see such a girl for forgetting!"
"Well, didn't I tell you as my 'ead had never closed the top!" urged Moggie in plaintive key. "How can I 'elp myself?"
"Here, take them letters up to him, and ask again; and if Miss Sparkes says anything don't give her no answer--see? Billy, fill the big kettle, and put it on before you go. Sally, you ain't a
So Gissing is known for his Realism, eh? Well, so far as limiting onesself to construction of a novel from no more than quotidian mundane events, this book qualifies.
But realistic? The plot swoops, swerves, dips and dives like a comic fantasy... Really does bring to mind Christopher Morley's Where the Blue Begins, starring Gissing, the talking dog.