Set in the context of Victorian social and medical debate, this novel is about rebellion, posing fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. This revised edition draws on recent theoretical work on gender and class.
Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centers on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new stepsister enters Molly's quiet life, the loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.
"It's not about the ending!"
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.
"Narration as Brilliant Performance Art"
A portrait of the residents of an English country town in the mid-19th century, Cranford relates the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances.
"throughly enjoyed this"
Molly Gibson lost her mother when she was a child. Any stepmother would have been a shock, but the new Mrs Gibson is a self-absorbed, silly little widow, and Molly's unhappiness is compounded by the realisation that her father has come to regret his second marriage.
"Superb! Story and Narration A++"
The orphaned heroine Ruth, apprenticed to a dressmaker, is seduced and then abandoned by wealthy Henry Bellingham. Shamed in the eyes of society by her illegitimate son, and yet rejecting the opportunity to marry her seducer, Ruth finds a path that affirms we are not bound to repeat our mistakes.
"Fallen Woman Finds Redemption"
When her father leaves the church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill owner and self-made man John Thornton.
"Lovely, long, old fashioned-not just like the BBC series"
When her father remarries, the honest, innocent Molly Gibson suddenly finds herself with a new stepsister, Cynthia, who is beautiful, worldly and impetuous. This would be more than enough to deal with, but the new wife is the deeply snobbish (and darkly secretive) Hyacinth. Thwarted love, scheming ambition and small-town gossip underlie the warmth, irony and brilliant social observation which link the relationships and the inevitable conflicts as profound change comes to rural England.
"A Masterpiece - I LOVE THIS BOOK!"
Elizabeth Gaskell's comic portrait of early Victorian life in a country town describes with poignant wit the uneventful lives of its lady-like inhabitants, offering an ironic commentary on the separate spheres and diverse experiences of men and women. As the external world necessarily impinges even on Cranford, the unlikely juxtapositions of old and new brought about by the pace of change are also explored.
Margaret Hale returns home to her family in the rural south of England, after living with a wealthy aunt for 10 years, learning how to become a proper young woman. She is not home for long before her life is uprooted and her family moves to a town called Milton, in Northern England, where her father intends to be a tutor, leaving their Pastoral life, and the Church of England behind.
When Margaret Hale moves with her father from the comfort of the south of England to the industrial north, she is at first repulsed by what she sees; and then when she discovers the conditions under which the workers are forced to live, she is outraged. But this throws her into direct conflict with the powerful young mill-owner, John Thornton. Using personal passions to explore deep social divisions, North and South is a great romance and one of Elizabeth Gaskell's finest works.
"So Glad I Went The Distance!"
Cousin Phillis is considered one of the finest examples of "the short story". Focusing on the unexpected friendship between seventeen year old Paul Manning and his second cousin Phillis Holman the story is simple and uncomplicated. Its true beauty is in the gentle unfolding and narrative style that Gaskell employs so well.
Cousin Phillis – a miniature masterpiece – is set in the 1840s, when the coming of the railway was changing the face of England, and quiet rural communities, coming into contact with the outside world, were changed forever. The story focuses on the effect these changes have on a naïve country girl, Phillis, as she encounters love, with all its pains and pleasures, for the first time.
This charming piece of social observation throws a gentle spotlight on life in a small village in northern England of the 1850s. The middle-aged ladies, existing in rather impoverished circumstances, nevertheless maintain the rules of politeness which they feel they should live by.
"Charming episodes, beautifully told"
This classic novel has been thrice adapted for the screen by the BBC. Mary Smith relates the story of her time with middle-aged spinster sisters Miss Matty and Miss Deborah. Witty, poignant, and often ironic, Cranford is the tale of what these two women will do to remain respectable, proper, and kind with only moderate means.
"A Lovely Relaxing Listen"
This is the story of Margaret Hale, a young English woman who accompanies her family's move from rural southern England to the industrial north. It proves to be a difficult change, with all the attendant social conflicts and cultural misunderstandings consequent to such situations. It is a study in contrasts. Mrs. Gaskell created one of the Victorian era's greatest heroines in Margaret Hale, a young lady of passionate intensity.
"An Awesome Classic"
"Cranford" is the best-known novel of the 19th century English writer Elizabeth Gaskell. It was first published in 1851 as a serial in the magazine "Household Words", which was edited by Charles Dickens.
Lady Ludlow's appalling snobbery, prejudice and bred-in-the-bone conviction as to the superiority of the English aristocracy and their feudal way of life are deliciously tested, and found wanting, in this gently radical tale of the collapse of a social system. Elizabeth Gaskell's My Lady Ludlow is a brilliant picture of the shift in power in a rural northern village, from the velvety feudal Ludlows to the glitter of the new money rattling through the system courtesy of the brazen baker from Birmingham.
The art of writing a short story can be barely noticed by a reader or listener - such is the quality with which they are usually written. It is a difficult trade, an unforgiving discipline, but for those who master it, the rewards are many. In this series of works by our greatest female writers we bring you a selection of those we consider the best. In Volume 1 we bring you the classics 'A Dill Pickle' by Katherine Mansfield, 'The Storm' by Kate Chopin, and 'The Sexton’s Hero' by Elizabeth Gaskell.
Against a background of industrial unrest, misery, suspicion, jealousy, and the deaths of family and dear friends, the star-crossed love between mill owner John Thornton and the cultivated Margaret Hale is put to the test.
"Very poor audio quality"