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 (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
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.
Juliet Stevenson's narration!
North and South as far as the tale being set in the industrial revoultion and the conflict between masters and men.
Her narration was awesome! She brough the characters to life with emotion; I loved it!
The repentance of Mr. Carson following the plea for forgiveness by his son's murderer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content