George Gissing (1857-1903) was an English writer whose works belonged to the literary movement of naturalism. In his books George Gissing revealed the social topics and depicted the life of lower classes of the English society. His main characters often were poor people, drifters and prostitutes who struggled to survive. Gissing tried to understand those people's feelings but at the same time he couldn't conceal his disgust towards them. Eventually it led to his attempts to escape from the controversies of reality through writing books set in ancient times.
'A Charming Family' is a short story first published as a part of a collectiobn book 'The House Of Cobwebs and Other Stories' published in 1906. It tells us about an old lonesome lady who leases her houses. One day she gets some new clients — a man with his wife and daughters. They've left a pleasant impression on the lady and she begins to think of them as of 'a charming family'. But their charms come to an end when they stop paying their rent.