This edition of Meredith's satirical novel of manners reprints the text of 1897, which incorporated Meredith's revisions to the first edition of 1879. The editor has corrected some errors which escaped Meredith's attention and has provided exceptionally useful notes on the novel. "Backgrounds" includes Meredith's "Essay on Comedy and the Uses of the Comic Spirit." "The Critical Essays" are by Robert D. Mayo, Richard B. Hudson, Jenni Calder, Gillian Beer, John Goode, Charles J. Hill, Michael Sundell, Virginia Woolf, John Lucas, and Robert M. Adams. A Bibliography is also included.