Tag Archive | Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford

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Title: Cranford
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

My Rating: 4 of 5

Good for ages: 10+

Summary: A collection of vignettes that tell of Miss Mattie and Miss Deborah in their little town of Cranford. Told in the first person by Mary, a friend of Miss Mattie through both personal encounters and letters.

My Thoughts: I had watched the BBC production before I ever read the book. The movie combines the various vignettes into one continuous story so it was a little difficult to get into the stories at first.

The characters are lovable and the stories sweet.

My Favorite Quotes:

“Out of the way! We are in the throes of an exceptional emergency! This is no occassion for sport- there is lace at stake!”

“But I was right. I think that must be an hereditary quality, for my father says he is scarcely ever wrong.”

“A man,” as one of them observed to me once, “is so in the way in the house!”

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Librivox

Cousin Phillis

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Title: Cousin Phillis
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
Date Started: September 3, 2014

Other Works by Author:
Mary Barton
Wives and Daughters
Ruth
North and South
Sylvia’s Lovers
The Life of Charlotte Bronte
For a more complete list of her novella’s and other works see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Gaskell#Novels

Genres: History, Romance, drama

My Rating: 2.5

Good for ages: 10+

Summary: Lodging with a minister on the outskirts of London, Paul Manning is initially dismayed to discover that the uncle he must visit in the country is also a churchman. Yet far from the oppressively religious household he envisages, Manning is delighted to meet his genial relations—not least, his cousin Phillis. But when Phyllis falls for the charms of his more sophisticated colleague, Manning’s family ties render him powerless to prevent the inevitable heartbreak that ensues.

My Thoughts: This book was very short, much shorter than I was anticipating and rather sad. The ending wasn’t as satisfactory as I like in books, that was definitely the main problem I had with it; though I read that more was planned just not written.

My Favorite Quotes: None for now. (I may get some up later if I have time to look at a hard copy of the book.

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Librivox

 

 

Ruth

Title: Ruth
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
Date Started:
August 10, 2014

Other Works by Author:
Wives and Daughters
North and South
Mary Barton
Cousin Phillis


Genres
: Fiction, History,

My Rating: 4

Good for ages: 16+


Summary:

Ruth Hilton is a young orphan girl working as a dressmakers apprentice in a small town. She meets and unconsciously impresses Mr. Billingham, the young heir of a wealthy family in the town.

They begin spending time together but when Ruth’s employer sees them she is angered and dismisses Ruth. Mr. Billingham takes Ruth to a small town in Wales where they stay until Mr. Billingham falls ill. When his mother comes to take care of him Ruth is pushed to the side. As soon as Mr. Billingham is able to be moved Mrs. Billingham takes him home leaving Ruth at the inn.

Mr. Benson, a crippled, dissenting minister prevents Ruth from committing suicide and takes her to his home back in England. He and his sister Faith Benson take care of her and help her to get a fresh start under the guise of being a widow who is with child.

The story follows her as she tries to raise her son away from her guilt and shame within her fresh start as a governess.


My Thoughts:
The book deals with illegitimacy and the shame with which it was considered in the victorian era. The author makes the point that some fallen women could be redeemed if given another chance and a fresh start. Also that the children of illegitimacy were not to blame and they suffered more than necessary for it.

I enjoyed the book a lot and appreciated the change and redemption in Ruth, and the compassion of the minister and his sister.


My Favorite Quotes:

“Ask , and it shall be given until you. That is no vain or untried promise, Ruth!”

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Librivox

Book Review: Mary Barton

Title: Mary Barton
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
Date Started: June 17, 2014

Other Works by Author:
North and South
Wives and Daughters
Cranford
Ruth
Cousin Phillis
Sylvia’s Lovers
The Life of Charlotte Bronte
For a more complete list of her novella’s and other works see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Gaskell#Novels

Genres: Fiction, History, Romance, Mystery

My Rating: 3

Summary: Mary Barton grew up in a poor, working class family but she dreams of becoming a lady just like her aunt Esther. Jem, a young man she grew up with, falls in love with her. But she’s also receiving attentions from young Henry Carson, the son of a wealthy mill owner.
This is Mrs. Gaskell’s first novel.

My Thoughts: I love some of Mrs. Gaskell’s other works (North and South and Wives and Daughters) so when I discovered this book I thought I’d give it a try. I enjoyed the story, the romance and murder mystery. I did feel it ran a little long but overall a good book.

My Favorite Quotes:

“If she lives, she shall be my wedded wife. If she dies–mother, I can’t speak of what I shall feel if she dies.” His voice was choked in his throat.”

“There is always a pleasure in unravelling a mystery, in catching at the gossamer clue which will guide to certainty.”

Where can you get this book: Amazon

Book Review: Wives and Daughters

 

Title: Wives and Daughters
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
Date Started: April 19, 2014

Other Works by Author:
North and South
Cranford

Mary Barton
Ruth
Cousin Phillis
Sylvia’s Lovers
The Life of Charlotte Bronte
For a more complete list of her novella’s and other works see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Gaskell#Novels

Genres: Historical, Drama, Romance

My Rating: 5

Summary:  Molly Gibson lives happily with her father. When a young man secretly tries to show her his love Mr. Gibson sends him away and allows Molly to go on a lengthy visit at Hamley hall. She becomes very attached to the family and meets the two sons, Osbourne the poet and Roger the naturalist.

When Mr. Gibson marries again Molly gains a step-sister, Cynthia, who she grows to love dearly, even when Cythina is revealed to have secrets and pulls Molly into it.

My Thoughts: I watched the movie before reading the book and loved it. So when I came around to reading it I was pleased to discover how accurate the movie was. A very sweet story mixed with a little mystery. If you like Jane Austen’s works you’ll love this book.
Unfortuantely Elizabeth Gaskell died before finishing the story but at the end the publisher added notes of what might have happened based on comments and notes from Mrs. Gaskell, so you aren’t left completely hanging.
One last plug in for the movie, the ending they created for it is extremely sweet and worked in so well that you would never have thought that it wasn’t originally part of the book.

My Favorite Quotes: “How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly.”  
“I won’t say she was silly, but I think one of us was silly, and it wasn’t me!”

Where can you get this book: Both free ebooks and paid hardcopies: Amazon
And there’s always your local library.