We are pleased to announce a new critical edition of George Moore’s controversial novel, A Mummer’s Wife. First published in 1885, the novel tells the story of Kate Ede, a bored Midlands housewife unhappily married to an asthmatic draper. When a handsome travelling actor comes to lodge with her family, Kate succumbs to temptation, with disastrous consequences.
The shocking themes of alcoholism and adultery led to the novel being banned by Mudie’s, thus initiating a war of attrition between Moore and the circulating libraries. In his introduction to this edition, Anthony Patterson considers Moore’s work in the context of literary production and censorship, and also examines the novel’s themes.
This completely reset edition also includes:
- a preface by Moore’s biographer, Professor Adrian Frazier
- critical introduction, author biography and explanatory footnotes by Anthony Patterson
- the full text of Literature at Nurse, Moore’s polemic pamphlet in which he attacked the Grundyism of the circulating libraries.
- extracts from Moore’s A Communication to My Friends, in which he describes his first meeting with publisher Henry Vizetelly and the evolution of “A Mummer’s Wife”
- Moore’s preface to Zola’s Piping Hot!
- an excerpt from the autobiography of Jimmy Glover, whose experiences as an actor influenced the novel
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