THE PAYING GUEST.
London, Paris & Melbourne: Cassell and Company, 1895. 4 pp ads dated March 1896. Original mustard yellow cloth decorated in red.
First Edition of this novella, being a volume in "Cassell's Pocket Library," which was edited by Max Pemberton. With the 1894 demise of the three-decker format and the lengthy style it had mandated, Gissing (and many other authors) turned to very short pieces -- books such as THE PAYING GUEST and SLEEPING FIRES, and the short stories that would form HUMAN ODDS AND ENDS. According to Collie, THE PAYING GUEST "was the third of the single-volume novels that Gissing wrote on commission, was regarded as a potboiler from start to finish and was soon forgotten" -- it tells of a middle-class family taking in a "paying guest," a young woman of little education and of poor temperament, who is soon asked to leave but will not.
This copy is in mustard cloth (copies were also issued in wrappers -- no priority); it has the four-page ad catalogue dated March 1896, which is not the earliest. Condition is very good-plus (volume slightly askew, minor cover soil). Coustillas A16.1.c; Collie A15a. Item #13745