Wives and Daughters

Front Cover
Wordsworth Editions, Jan 1, 1999 - Fiction - 622 pages
40 Reviews
Gaskell's last novel, widely considered her masterpiece, follows the fortunes of two families in nineteenth century rural England.? At its core are family relationships - father, daughter and step-mother, father and sons, father and step-daughter - all tested and strained by the romantic entanglements that ensue. Despite its underlying seriousness, the prevailing tone is one of comedy.? Gaskell vividly portrays the world of the late 1820s and the forces of change within it, and her vision is always humane and progressive. The story is full of acute observation and sympathetic character-study:? the feudal squire clinging to old values, his naturalist son welcoming the new world of science, the local doctor and his scheming second wife, the two girls brought together by their parent's marriage...
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - magistrab - LibraryThing

For the most part I enjoyed the characters in this book, especially Molly and Roger. The stepmother and stepdaughter were morally bankrupt, insipid characters and Molly had a lot of forbearance in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lit_chick - LibraryThing

2006, BBC Audiobooks, Read by Prunella Scales “The autumn drifted away through all its seasons. The golden corn-harvest, the walks through the stubble-fields, and rambles into hazel-copses in search ... Read full review

Contents

The Dawn of a Gala Day
3
A Novice Amongst the Great Folk
11
Molly Gibsons Childhood
25
Mr Gibsons Neighbours
31
CalfLove
40
A Visit to the Hamleys
54
Foreshadows of Love Perils
66
Drifting into Danger
73
Coming Events
313
Brightening Prospects
326
A Lovers Mistake
332
The Mothers Manoeuvre
340
Domestic Diplomacy
353
FMe W Wifwf Gwwe of
358
Mr Kirkpatrick QC
370
Sref Thoughts Ooze Out
380

77e Widower and the Widow
85
A Crisis
93
Making Friendship
109
Preparing for the Wedding
123
Motfy Gibsons New Friends
131
Molly Finds Herself Patronised
141
The New Mamma
153
Te BnWe at Home
160
Trouble at Hamley Hall
169
Mr Osborne s Secret
179
Cynthias Arrival
191
Mrs Gibsons Visitors
200
The HalfSisters
208
The Old Squires Troubles
220
Osborne Hamley Reviews his Position
230
Mrs Gibsons Little Dinner
238
Hollingford in a Bustle
244
I Charity Ball
252
Father and Sons
268
Rivalry
275
BushFighting
286
Old Ways and New Ways
298
i Passive Coquette
306
Moy Gibson Breathes Freely
391
Gathering Clouds
398
Tfo Storm Bursts
409
Cynthias Confession
417
Moy Gibson to the Rescue 42 2
434
Hollingford Gossips
442
Scandal and its Victims
450
An Innocent Culprit
460
Molly Gibson Finds a Champion
469
Cynthia at Bay
477
Troubles Never Come Alone
488
Squire Hamleys Sorrow
496
Unlookedfor Arrivals
506
Molly Gibsons Worth is Discovered
516
An Absent Lover Returns
526
Offwith the Old Love and on with the New
534
Bridal Visits and Adieux
542
Reviving Hopes and Brightening Prospects
551
Molly Gibson at Ham ley Hall
560
Roger Hamleys Confession
569
Concluding Remarks
581
NOTES
587
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Elizabeth Gaskell was born on September 29, 1810 to a Unitarian clergyman, who was also a civil servant and journalist. Her mother died when she was young, and she was brought up by her aunt in Knutsford, a small village that was the prototype for Cranford, Hollingford and the setting for numerous other short stories. In 1832, she married William Gaskell, a Unitarian clergyman in Manchester. She participated in his ministry and collaborated with him to write the poem Sketches among the Poor in 1837. Our Society at Cranford was the first two chapters of Cranford and it appeared in Dickens' Household Words in 1851. Dickens liked it so much that he pressed Gaskell for more episodes, and she produced eight more of them between 1852 and 1853. She also wrote My Lady Ludlow and Lois the Witch, a novella that concerns the Salem witch trials. Wives and Daughters ran in Cornhill from August 1864 to January 1866. The final installment was never written but the ending was known and the novel exists now virtually complete. The story centers on a series of relationships between family groups in Hollingford. Most critics agree that her greatest achievement is the short novel Cousin Phillis. Gaskell was also followed by controversy. In 1853, she offended many readers with Ruth, which explored seduction and illegitimacy that led the "fallen woman" into ostracism and inevitable prostitution. The novel presents the social conduct in a small community when tolerance and morality clash. Critics praised the novel's moral lessons but Gaskell's own congregation burned the book and it was banned in many libraries. In 1857, The Life of Charlotte Brontė was published. The biography was initially praised but angry protests came from some of the people it dealt with. Gaskell was against any biographical notice of her being written during her lifetime. After her death on November 12, 1865, her family refused to make family letters or biographical data available.

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