In 1890, having completed, and sold the copyright for, The Emancipated , Gissing began work on a succession of new novels, none of which prospered in his mind. In April 1890, we find him beginning work on a new manuscript entitled "A Man of Letters", but then becoming distracted by other projects. Finally, in October 1890, he records "a fresh beginning" on a novel now entitled New Grub Street , which was swiftly completed in December. The proofs arrived from the publisher in February, and Gissing's masterpiece appeared on 7 April 1891.
In 1868 Meredith was introduced to Thomas Hardy by Frederic Chapman of Chapman & Hall the publishers. Hardy had submitted his first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady . Meredith advised Hardy not to publish his book as it would be attacked by reviewers and destroy his hopes of becoming a novelist. Meredith felt the book was too bitter a satire on the rich and counselled Hardy to put it aside and write another 'with a purely artistic purpose' and more of a plot. Meredith spoke from experience; his first big novel, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel , was judged so shocking that Mudie's circulating library had cancelled an order of 300 copies. Hardy continued in his attempts to publish the novel: however it remained unpublished, though he clearly took Meredith's advice seriously.  Before his death, Meredith was honoured from many quarters: he succeeded Lord Tennyson as president of the Society of Authors ; in 1905 he was appointed to the Order of Merit by King Edward VII .