George Meredith

Image by George Frederic Watts, oil on canvas, 1893 © National Portrait Gallery, London

George Meredith

b. 1828 d. 1909


Around the ancient track march’d, rank on rank, the army of unalterable law. - George Meredith 'Lucifer In Starlight'


About George Meredith

George Meredith was a Victorian poet, author and journalist. He published eighteen novels between 1856 and his death in 1909 and, although many had limited commercial and critical success,The Egoist (1879) and Diana of the Crossways (1885) were well received. At various times Meredithworked as a reader and adviser to publishers, as a war correspondent and as a contributor to and editor of literary journals. He was a skilful essayist and lecturer, and his ‘Essay on Comedy’ was regarded as a brilliant and insightful piece of work.

Meredith was an accomplished poet. Among his most widely read works is Modern Love, an uneven but fascinating account of the break‑up of a marriage, clearly based on his own experience. His wife eloped with an artist, abandoning Meredith and their son. The work is written as a sonnet sequence, using the sixteen-line form known as the ‘Meredithian sonnet’.