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.
"Romance and Finance"
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.
"Best Cranford Reading!"
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.
Elizabeth Gaskell's remarkable first novel, Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life portrays a love that defies the rigid boundaries of class with tragic consequences.
"Moments of wonderful intensity"
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.
"Lovely novel; wonderful reader (Nadia May)"
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.
"Great example of woman empowerment"
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.
A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Elizabeth Gaskell's classic novel of everyday provincial life in the 1820s, 'Wives and Daughters', first broadcast in the 'Woman's Hour Drama' slots from 29 November 2010 - 10 December 2010.'Wives and Daughters' was written in the 1860s and serialised in the Cornhill Magazine. It is set in the 1820s and deals to a large extent with the position of women in society.
"What an enjoyable yarn!"
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.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Gibson worships her widowed father. But when he decides to remarry, Molly's life is thrown off course by the arrival of her vain, shallow, and selfish stepmother. There is some solace in the shape of her new stepsister, Cynthia, who is beautiful, sophisticated and irresistible to every man she meets. Soon the girls become close, and Molly finds herself cajoled into becoming a go-between in Cynthia's love affairs. But in doing so, Molly risks ruining her reputation in the gossiping village of Hollingford - and jeopardizing everything with the man she is secretly in love with.
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.
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.
This BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Elizabeth Gaskell's tale of Manchester life is set in the 19th century, when a series of bad harvests placed a heavy tax burden on workers. Gaskell's powerful drama, adapted here for Woman's Hour, is regarded as one of the most important novels of its time.
"a good Lancashire tale"
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.
"A good listen, classic Gaskell!"
Elizabeth Gaskell, famed author of Cranford, is cherished for her incise social observations and portrayals of the changing nature of English life through the Industrial Revolution of the Victorian era. In Cousin Phillis, Paul Manning has only recently left home to work on the railway line for the dashing Mr Holdsworth. Lodging with an Independent Minister on the outskirts of London, he becomes acquainted with his distant cousins, where he is delighted to meet his genial relations, and not least his cousin Phyllis
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Good story, less than great narration"