Blue Plaque Unveiling: George Gissing

Friday 8th December at 11:00
25 Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LG; please email Hilary Neville at hneville.ecs@btinternet.com if you plan to come along to the plaque unveiling, so that we have an idea of numbers.
Our next plaque will commemorate the novelist George Gissing, who lived in the city between 1891 and 1893. The plaque will be unveiled at 11:00, at 25 Heavitree Road, EX1 2LG, by Professor Richard Dennis - all welcome. Afterwards we’ll have coffee at the cafe at the Barnfield Theatre on Barnfield Road - a place visited by George Gissing many times when it housed the Exeter Literary Society. Please email Hilary Neville at hneville.ecs@btinternet.com if you plan to come along to the plaque unveiling, so that we have an idea of numbers.

Gissing was a famous author during his lifetime, and still has a keen following. Many of
his novels are still in print: New Grub Street, The Odd Women, Born in Exile and The
Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft among them. He drew on the people and places he
knew in Exeter and Devon when writing later novels, and his published letters contain
remarks about the city, such as (when writing about RAMM), “There is a fairly good Public
Library, & under the same roof, a more than fairly good Museum, chiefly strong in geology
and archaeology”.

The house in which he and his wife lived for most of their stay in Exeter, in St Leonard’s
Place, off Wonford Road, was unfortunately destroyed in the blitz. We have chosen to put
the plaque on a house in Heavitree Road where Gissing rented a room for several months
in order to work on his novels out of earshot of domestic life.

In addition to the plaque unveiling, there will an opportunity to hear more about George
Gissing and Exeter on December 7th, when Richard Dennis will be giving an evening
lecture at the Devon and Exeter Institution entitled “George Gissing and Exeter: a
transformative writer at a transformative time in his own life”. The lecture is open to all,
and admission includes a drink, so do book a place if you haven’t already – details at

Evening Lectures