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Mary Barton | [Elizabeth Gaskell]

Mary Barton

When her father assassinates Henry Carson, his employer's son and Mary's admirer, suspicion falls on Mary's second admirer, Jem, a fellow worker. Mary has to prove her lover's innocence without incriminating her own father.
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Publisher's Summary

When her father assassinates Henry Carson, his employer's son and Mary's admirer, suspicion falls on Mary's second admirer, Jem, a fellow worker. Mary has to prove her lover's innocence without incriminating her own father.

First published in 1848 and subtitled "A Tale of Manchester Life", the author's invention of entirely working-class characters for this novel was for the times an innovation.

Public Domain © and (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (82 )
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4.3 (55 )
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4.6 (55 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-14-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Narration as Brilliant Performance Art"

    Juliet Stevenson is nothing less than brilliant in narrating this work of Elizabeth Gaskell, and brings its several characters to life with seeming effortlessness. It is a piece of vibrant performance art. Gaskell's touching novel is a reminder that the extent to which socio-economic dislocation and abuse will be eradicated is dependent on being spiritually alive to the oneness of humanity. And though written over 150 years ago, Gaskell's deep concern over society's deafness to the poor, never heavy-handedly conveyed, unfortunately still has rich meaning.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erika Montgomery, AL, United States 04-26-13
    Erika Montgomery, AL, United States 04-26-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great reading of a heart warming story"
    What made the experience of listening to Mary Barton the most enjoyable?

    Juliet Stevenson's narration!


    What other book might you compare Mary Barton to and why?

    North and South as far as the tale being set in the industrial revoultion and the conflict between masters and men.


    What does Juliet Stevenson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her narration was awesome! She brough the characters to life with emotion; I loved it!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The repentance of Mr. Carson following the plea for forgiveness by his son's murderer.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a delightful story and brought to life the human struggle between master and worker and her call for men to treat each other as fellow citizens on God's earth, no matter their position in society.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Valley, AL, United States 08-20-13
    Pat Valley, AL, United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Mrs. Gaskell was so far ahead of her time"

    Elizabeth Gaskell wrote novels and short stories in the 1840-60's. That is 150 years ago! And her novels have aged perfectly because the people speak in voices that you could hear today.

    She was only 55 when she died, leaving her last novel, "Wives and Daughters", unfinished. She also wrote "North and South", referring to England and the comparison between idyllic village life and terrible manufacturing town life. "Cranford" is a short novel, her second, and probably her best when considering characterizations.

    I find it incredible that "Mary Barton" was her first novel. It is chock full of people you will recognize from our culture today. Our American culture at that, probably any culture.

    Gaskell wrote in a manner that was so far ahead of her time. She needs to be appreciated by more people than just English majors. Her work deserves all sorts of people to read it. Just darned good story-telling.

    I heartily recommend all her novels to Audible listeners. Even though these novels are in the public domain, the Audible versions are so much better spoken. The readers chosen by Audible are perfect, light British accent and easily understood. They add a lot to these books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 03-26-13
    Susan 03-26-13 Member Since 2010

    I like to listen to classic literature while I'm on the treadmill at the gym. The deep meaningful thoughts drown out the inane pop music.

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    "Fast-Paced for Gaskell"

    I'm a great fan of Elizabeth Gaskell since I listened to Cranford, and Mary Barton served only to increase my admiration for her story-telling. This one was surprisingly fast-paced especially toward the end. She really had my heart racing with the suspense of it all! And Juliet Stevenson does it again with her agile reading. It just amazes me how she can switch so rapidly between characters with such different voices and accents.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 12-30-12
    Robert 12-30-12

    I'm Robert's wife, a retired physician and homeschool mom whose grown kids now love history, literature, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction

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    "Classic!"

    Gaskell's versatility is admirable. I really got into this story, and the narrator was perfect. Highly recommended. Also North and South--which I liked even better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lois 12-04-12
    Lois 12-04-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A Great Read"

    Elizabeth Gaskell writes about her favourite topic - the conflict between management and labour in the industrial era of the 19th century. From the start this story absorbed me. The characters were well drawn and believable, the action was well paced, and there was no superfluous dialogue.

    Mill owners were suffering from a reduction in orders for their goods. Rather than lay off workers, they reduced their pay, but gave no explanation of the their reasons for so doing. Living from hand-to-mouth, disenchanted union members held a meeting and elected to punish the mill owners for their reduced circumstances.

    A union official murders the son of one of these mill owners, and the blame is placed on a young man who was completely innocent. The mill owner, determined to see his son's killer brought to justice quickly, leaned on the authorities to hasten the process.

    The hero was saved from the gallows at the last hour by the heroine; the real culprit identified, and a new understanding between an embittered unionist and a bereaved father was achieved.

    Perhaps it appeals to my perception of decency and what some would call today, old-fashioned morality, but I thoroughly enjoyed this audible book with its happily-ever-after outcome, made even more enjoyable by the beautiful diction of Juliet Stevenson.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Nicholas
    Skipton, United Kingdom
    8/11/14
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    "Moments of wonderful intensity"

    It is not for the plot but for the writing that one reads or listens to Mrs Gaskell, and here Juliet Stevenson is exactly the right reader. The intensity and passion of that scene, for example, where Mary Barton tries to contact Jem before he sails away, so that he can give his testimony at court: the tension that builds is masterful. It is a scene I shall remember for a very long time, and to which I shall surely return on this recording.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Potterton, United Kingdom
    9/28/13
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    "Great version of a classic"

    This is a very fine version of a classic Victorian story. Mrs Gaskell was a minister's wife so you have to accept the heavy handed Christian ethics, but the story sets out some radical sympathies for both working and monied classes, so stick with it.

    the narrator is excellent and sweeps you along.

    Highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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