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Found 5 results

  1. This book sat on my bookshelf for years, and I am so grateful to the BBC's serialisation for prompting me to read it at last. Originally published in parts for Dicken's Household Worlds it describes the personalities and doings of a small market town through the eyes of Mary Smith, a one-time resident and frequent visitor. The social elite of the town are a group of middle aged women. Men are few, being either dead or away on business, so that any that do make an appearance are subject to much interest and speculation. Cranford and its inhabitants are a bit behind the times, genteel an
  2. One of her later books. Although short still a very charming read. As with other of her books it is beautifully written and paints a clear picture of pastoral England in the 19th century. The strength of the novel lies in the characters that Gaskell creates and although they are not all completely likeable the facets of human nature that each character represents are clear to see. As with previous novels morality plays a big part. Although not a great deal actually happens in the novel as a reader I found myself caring about a number of the characters and the final outcome of the book.
  3. Elizabeth Gaskell's last, and unfinished, novel centres on Molly Gibson, a doctor's daughter living in the country town of Hollingford, whose life changes dramatically when she learns she is to have a new stepmother in the beautiful but affected Mrs Kirkpatrick. Molly's anguish is partially relieved when she is introduced to her new stepsister Cynthia, but her love for the beautiful Cynthia soon causes problems for her, particularly when she gets entangled in Cynthia's secrets and when Molly's friend Roger Hamley falls for Cynthia's charms. Like North and South, morality and secrets play a
  4. Ruth is a typical Victorian moral tale in which the eponymous heroine, as an innocent, beautiful young girl, orphaned and without a guiding influence, is seduced by a handsome and wealthy young man. Owing to the force of circumstances, but without much of a fight, he abandons her far from her home. She is rescued in her moment of deepest despair by Thurston Benson, a Dissenting minister, who is much older, and crippled, therefore cannot be suspected by the reader of improper motives, He takes her to his home far from the scenes of her disgrace where, as Ruth has now discovered that she
  5. This novel is set in 1830s Manchester, at the time when the Trades Union movement was just starting. Mary Barton is the motherless daughter of a mill worker who has been 'laid off' after a fire at the mill. He is involved in fighting for workers rights. Mary has her head turned by the mill owners son, and turns her back on her honest working-man sweetheart. Following a confrontation between the two men over Mary, the mill owners son is murdered. Mary's suitor is arrested, as circumstantial evidence points to his guilt. Mary now realises that she loves him, and although she discovers wh
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