Mary Barton

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Oxford University Press, UK, Mar 9, 2006 - Fiction - 480 pages
18 Reviews
Mary Barton was praised by contemporary critics for its vivid realism, its convincing characters and its deep sympathy with the poor, and it still has the power to engage and move readers today. This edition reproduces the last edition of the novel supervised by Elizabeth Gaskell and includes her husband's two lectures on the Lancashire dialect. - ;'It's the masters as has wrought this woe; it's the masters as should pay for it.' Set in Manchester in the 1840s - a period of industrial unrest and extreme deprivation - Mary Barton depicts the effects of economic and physical hardship upon the city's working-class community. Paralleling the novel's treatment of the relationship between masters and men, the suffering of the poor, and the workmen's angry response, is the story of Mary herself: a factory-worker's daughter who attracts the attentions of the mill-owner's son, she becomes caught up in the violence of class conflict when a brutal murder forces her to confront her true feelings and allegiances. Mary Barton was praised by contemporary critics for its vivid realism, its convincing characters and its deep sympathy with the poor, and it still has the power to engage and move readers today. This edition reproduces the last edition of the novel supervised by Elizabeth Gaskell and includes her husband's two lectures on the Lancashire dialect. - ;This is Elizabeth Gaskell at her best, and Shirley Foster's edition is both sagacious and formally accurate. The appendices are invaluable and the explanatory notes are relevant without being obtrusive. A must for readers of Mary Barton. - Dr. Antonio Ballesteros-Gonz--aacute--;lez, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lit_chick - LibraryThing

2011, AudioGO Audiobooks, Read by Juliet Stevenson Mary Barton is set in 1840s working-class Manchester. The young heroine, who lives alone with her hardened and bitter trade-unionist father, John ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thatotter - LibraryThing

Rather long, draggy, melodramatic, and didactic--and all without having an especially engaging plot or characters. It would be easier to list the characters who didn't die of starvation rather than to list those who did. Read full review

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References to this book

The Horror Reader
Ken Gelder
No preview available - 2000
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About the author (2006)


Shirley Foster is former Reader in English and American Literature at the University of Sheffield.

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