➱ Wives and Daughters Read ➹ Author Elizabeth Gaskell – Saudionline.co.uk

Wives and Daughters txt Wives and Daughters, text ebook Wives and Daughters, adobe reader Wives and Daughters, chapter 2 Wives and Daughters, Wives and Daughters 72aa71 Set In English Society Before TheReform Bill, Wives And Daughters Centres On The Story Of Youthful Molly Gibson, Brought Up From Childhood By Her Father When He Remarries, A New Step Sister Enters Molly S Quiet Life 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 Wives And Daughters Is Far Than A Nostalgic Evocation Of Village Life It Offers An Ironic Critique Of Mid Victorian Society No Nineteenth Century Novel Contains A Devastating Rejection Than This Of The Victorian Male Assumption Of Moral Authority , Writes Pam Morris In Her Introduction To This New Edition, In Which She Explores The Novel S Main Themes The Role Of Women, Darwinism And The Concept Of Englishness And Its Literary And Social Context

About the Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, n e Stevenson 29 September 1810 12 November 1865 , often referred to simply as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era She is perhaps best known for her biography of Charlotte Bront Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of society, including the very poor, and as such are of interest to socia

10 thoughts on “Wives and Daughters

  1. says:

    This 1865 novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, who also wrote the lovely North and South, is a pleasant but rather leisurely and lengthy tale of the personalities that inhabit an English country town in about the 1830 s The novel centers around Molly Gibson, the quiet and somewhat passive, but deeply sensitive, daughter of a widowed country doctor We meet Molly and her father when she s an innocent 12 year old girl, about to spend the day visiting the estate of the local gentry, Lord and Lady Cumnor, so excited she can hardly sleep the night before This visit won t turn out the way young Molly expected These childhood scenes set the stage and introduce us to many of the characters who will play significant roles later on in the story When Molly is a teenager one of her father s medical students, who boards with the Gibsons, falls in love with her Mr Gibson intercepts the young man s letter confessing his love and promptly ships Molly off to visit another local family and sends the young man away But doing that isn t enough to allay Mr Gibson s concerns, so he turns around and promptly proposes marriage to an attractive local widow who has a daughter Molly s age , thinking a new mum for Molly is the ticket It might have been a good idea to get to know her better before proposing Just sayin.Molly s new stepmother will prove a trial in her life and in Molly s father s life as well, for that matter, although he s better able to deal with the disappointment, mostly by immersing himself further in his medical practice Molly s new stepsister is much easier to get along with, but she ll also eventually end up bringing some serious complications to Molly s life The first two thirds of this novel was mildly enjoyable but didn t really engage me I set the book aside several times while I read other books, without feeling terribly anxious to get back to it Molly is sweet and kind and innocent, but I was getting a little impatient and frustrated with her and the people in her life I seriously thought that I was going to have to rate this book three stars, and all my literary GR friends would be disappointed with me and my lack of taste and discernment and probably unfriend me en masse Luckily for me, I really loved the last part of this book, enough to pull the overall rating up to four stars The characters gradually became very real to me, with their quirks and failings described frankly, but with affectionate humor Especially Mrs Gibson, who sets new standards for bird wittedness and vain self absorption.Lady Cumnor I was only speaking of the folly of people dressing above their station and what must the foolish woman do but begin to justify her own dress, as if I had been accusing her, or even thinking about her at all Such nonsense Really, Clare, your husband has spoilt you sadly, if you can t listen to any one without thinking they are alluding to you People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people s minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues I was told, Lady Cumnor, that this silk was reduced in price I bought it at Waterloo House after the season was over, said Mrs Gibson, touching the very handsome gown she wore in deprecation of Lady Cumnor s angry voice, and blundering on to the very source of irritation Again, Clare How often must I tell you I had no thought of you or your gowns, or whether they cost much or little your husband has to pay for them, and it is his concern if you spend on your dress than you ought to do It was only five guineas for the whole dress, pleaded Mrs Gibson.The strength of this book is in the keenly observed personalities that inhabit the town of Hollingford and this novel It was rather slow in parts, but overall an enjoyable coming of age tale with a little romance, that explores relationships between family members and friends, and how people can hurt and help each other.One warning Elizabeth Gaskell suddenly died just before finishing this novel, which was being published on a serial basis in a British magazine There s an afterword by her publisher, explaining what was going to happen in the story, and anyway it s pretty clear where the main relationship is headed, but it still left me with an unsettled feeling enough that I promptly went off on an online search to see if there s any decent fanfic of that last missing chapter I didn t find any But watching a YouTube clip of the end of the WD miniseries helped Just be mentally ready for it when you read this book otherwise it s a bit disconcerting.April May 2015 group read with the North and South GR group.

  2. says:

    To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood In a country there was a shire, and in that shire there was a town, and in that town there was a house, and in that house there was a room, and in that room there was a bed, and in that bed there lay a little girl Wives and Daughters reads like a fairytale and we are immediately enchanted by its gentle charm Stepmother, prince, villain, woods, a ball, castle, climbing roses, birds and beasts It s all there.However, the stepmother is not evil just annoying and shallow The prince is but a squire, the villain merely ungentlemanly The woods is a friendly lesson in botany, the ball disappointing, the castle entailed, its timber rotting Roses get tossed into the fire, It is Mr Preston, said she, in answer to Molly I shall not dance with him and here go his flowers Into the very middle of the embers, which she immediately stirred down upon the beautiful shrivelling petals as if she wished to annihilate them as soon as possible Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell spins this long leisurely tale with such attention to detail, characters, and dialogue that you feel transported to another time and place And bittersweet it is Death, blackmail, secret promises, undisclosed marriages, politics, scandal, the worry of money are ever present Her wicked characters are presented with enough sympathy that you enjoy them as much as the good ones Take Hyacinth Gibson for example she corresponds somewhat to Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice Austen totally denied all sympathy to tedious Mrs Bennet, but Gaskell makes sure we see Hyacinth as a person selfish and shallow but not uninteresting, and not incapable of sincere kindness.And the good characters are flawed sometimes you are not certain to which side they ll land Or where you ll land, given the exasperating qualities some of them have There is mystery too given to these people, hints dropped about things that are not revealed by the author.I am completely in love with Wives and Daughters, so take my 5 stars you pretty little thing.

  3. says:

    Review on second reading I have no words for how much I love this book and how thoroughly impressed I was on this reread It is an incredible, beautiful, poignant, subtle novel, and an absolute must read Review on third reading I have to say this is fast becoming one of my absolute favourite novels of all time What a book.

  4. says:

    Do you like fairy tales Well Gaskell certainly did To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood In a country there was a shire, and in that shire there was a town, and in that town there was a house, and in that house there was a room, and in that room there was a bed, and in that bed there lay a little girl wide awake and longing to get up, but not daring to do so for fear of the unseen power in the next room a certain Betty, whose slumbers must not be disturbed until six o clock struck, when she wakened of herself as sure as clockwork , and left the household very little peace afterwards It was a June morning, and early as it was, the room was full of sunny warmth and light I do love a good Victorian novel They re plot driven and entertaining, sometimes even a little enchanting They also depict the concerns of the age At the heart of this a large social transition the man of art, the man of poetry and romance, is being replaced by the new man of science, the new man of Darwinism and logic Gaskell s narrative suggests that the former is a dying breed he is unsuccessful in the modernising world he is outdated Contrastingly, science prospers Such can be seen with the Hamley brothers Incidentally, Gaskell was a cousin of Darwin s, and her acceptance of new thought can be seen she clearly favours it Romance drove the plot forward it was a powerful depiction of love that endures all the ridiculousness, and all the cunningness, of the other characters But, it irked me how long it took the pair to realise it Gaskell makes it painfully obvious to the reader that this pair should be together, and standard storytelling practically dictated that this is how the novel should end The pair seems to be painfully unaware with what was in front of their faces for most of the story Though I do suppose that was what Gaskell was going for she wanted to anger the reader she wanted to make them shout and rage about how these characters should be together It annoyed me a little these could have been together form the start and I wouldn t have had to read 700 pages of semi dry narrative .he had never known her value, he thought, till now And there s the rub I ve got to stop inserting Shakespeare quotes into reviews The novel was long winded I mean it s huge I do like big novels Sometimes a story is so long that it needs to be told properly I get that, and I appreciate that However, I found this to be awfully drawn out There were so many scenes in which the characters had repetitive conversations and lamented over the same facts There were so many parts that just didn t add to the greater whole of the narrative The story remained stationary for a long time The wonderful Jane Austen give her a round of applause please she deserves it can encompass so much in so fewer words Persuasion is a quarter of the length of this and that has so much story than this, but it is told in the way it should be Gaskell just droned on for much longer than her story was worth It was a drag However, behind the book s snail pace, drawn out plot, semi mundane characters and the frustrating romance, there is a real deep exploration of Victorian society The class systems, the complications, are very well illustrated The problems of a patriarchal system that demands that women and men must exist in spate spheres are presented Molly s farther is taciturn and rigid, but he does, in his overly masculine way, love his daughter In his naivety perhaps not the best word, self imposed restriction will work much better he marries so his daughter can be taught and guided He never even entertains the thought that perhaps he, as her farther, could deal with her himself All she realistically needed was chaperone, he could have taught her himself Indeed, his wife turns out to be a money grabbing shrew she is a societal leech, and she almost ruins everything Not a good match So in this, perhaps Gaskell suggests that these silly, silly, divides should be broken Societies outward image is just something for the vain, things would work much better if men and women were less concerned with their proper places in society This did have strong message, but it took far too many words to say it in even if the suggestions of fairy tale were rather whimsical at the start.

  5. says:

    Why has it taken me so long to finally read this wonderful novel I bought the Penguin edition when I was in my 20s, read a page or two, put it down and didn t pick it up again The book sat on my shelf for years For all I know, it could be there still However, after university I went right off Victorian literature and it s only been in the last twelve months or so that I ve felt the desire to tackle it again And now I ve fallen in love with Elizabeth Gaskell s writing In brief, the novel is set in the English Midlands in the 1830s and focuses on Molly Gibson, who lives in a small town with her widowed father, the local medical practitioner Concerned to acquire an appropriate chaperone and guide for his teenage daughter, Mr Gibson re marries the vain, self absorbed and manipulative Hyacinth Kirkpatrick, who has a teenage daughter of her own, Cynthia The story of Molly and Cynthia is a tale of love, friendship, secrets and scandal Central to the narrative are the changes in English society, where class distinctions are slowly becoming blurred The best thing about this novel are its characters There is kind, loving Molly, her sarcastic and undemonstrative but deeply caring father, her truly awful stepmother and the fascinating, faulty Cynthia, who is probably the most complex and interesting character in the novel There is also the aristocratic Cumnor family, the conflicted family of Squire Hamley, and the chorus of ladies from the town Gaskell breathed life into all of these characters None are perfect even the closest to perfect amongst them, Molly and Roger Hamley, demonstrate some flaws None are mere caricatures, not even Hyacinth, in spite of her her quite breath taking shallowness and the fact that she is the butt of much of Gaskell s highly developed sense of irony This is a novel with plenty of wit and humour, as well as melodrama and pathos First published in serial form between August 1864 and January 1866, Gaskell died before the novel was finished The final section, said to have been written by journalist and editor Frederick Greenwood, explains how Gaskell meant to conclude the final chapter While it is sad that Gaskell s death left the book unfinished, it s not difficult to see where the narrative was going even without the final section The excellence of the novel is not diminished by it being unfinished I listened to an audiobook edition narrated by Josephine Bailey, who is truly superb Every character is wonderfully realised, each with a distinct and appropriate voice All in all, listening to this novel has been a wonderful experience I m looking forward to going back to its world in the not too distant future And of course, I now have the BBC television adaptation to look forward to.

  6. says:


  7. says:

    My Jane Austen book group is reading this book, a great excuse for a reread, as it is one of my favorites of all time.On this reread, I noticed how much fun the narrative voice has with small town life whatever the rank There is so much humor veining the sharp observations of human vagaries, underscoring how much Gaskell s writing had changed She always aimed for great things, though her earlier novels and Dickens scolded her for daring to write beyond the female writer s natural sphere of domestic life are problematical, rife as they are with popular Victorian cliche, such as long deathbed speeches By this period she had begun to jettison the expected in favor of subtle observations The death beds are offstage what we see is the profoundly realistic emotional drama of the aftermath Illnesses don t ennoble, and purity is ignorance something the female characters talk about.This book could as easily have been called sex lives of wives and daughters it would be, today marketing departments would require it because there is so much commentary about sex, but in completely g rated language And not all of it is done by the young and breathless there is a telling conversation between some older women four widows in the room, with six husbands between em after a spinster has left the room upon having delivered a valedictory speech on what ought to be proper courtship.At heart is Cynthia s trouble, preyed on by an older guy who became obsessed with her when she was fifteen, and she had no idea what she was doing Gaskell gets into the emotional cost of raising girls to be ignorant, and the tension between society s rules enforced not just by men but by other women and communication, psychological insight and experience Not a lot happens in this book if you re looking for big ticket drama, but if you enjoy bricolage the little things that resonate as real give this a try Oh, and bonus to Gaskell for a hero who is 100% geek he s big, awkward, and can t help but yap about science Review from 2015 reread Great novels really are different books to different readers and can vary for the same reader as well But what really struck me when I reached that end was how this novel illustrates, like a nearly physical blow, the different between being told something and being shown That is, when show is done with Gaskell s extraordinary skill The reader hits that last chapter, and we re told by the editor what will happen We know how everyone ends up But the effect is still a cold splash of old bathwater after the lingering, fragrant sunshine of the novel because we don t know how these things will be achieved The delicate humor, the amazing insight, the interleaved reactions none of it s there.Another observation how details add brilliance Just the right details ones that serve the mood, the mode, that illuminate character We ve all encountered writings in which research is stuck in clumps that cause the eye to start skidding down the page Usually because these dumps of detail are neutral in affect, they don t serve the story so much as exist parallel to it Miss Hornblower was going to travel by railroad for the first time and Sally was very anxious, and sent her directions for her conduct one piece of advice was not to sit on the boiler.and .looking with admiring eyes at a large miniature set round with pearls, which served as a shield to Miss Phoebe s breast It is handsome, that lady replied It is a likeness of my dear mother Sally has got my father on The miniatures were both taken at the same time and just about then my uncle died and left us a legacy of fifty pounds, which we agreed to spend on the setting of our miniatures But because they are so valuable Sally always keeps them locked up with the best silver, and hides the box somewhere she will never tell me where, because she says I ve such weak nerves, and that if a burglar, with a loaded pistol at my head, were to ask me where we kept our plate and jewels, I should be sure to tell him Then there are the wonderful details of psychological observations, in this case through image If Molly had not been so entirely loyal to her friend, she might have thought this constant brilliancy a little tiresome when brought into everyday life it was not the sunshiny rest of a placid lake, it was rather the glitter of the pieces of a broken mirror, which confuses and bewilders.The second thing that struck me on this reading was just how much Gaskell manages, in a completely g rated novel centered around the required good heroine, to explore the delights and the dangers of sexual attraction.I ve often thought that many of the great novels of the nineteenth century are not just examinations of relations between men and women, but dialogues between the great writers on that subject Trollope, for example, seems determined to prove parallel to Or in spite of the powerful writings of the Brontes and Elliott from the woman s POV that once a woman falls in love, that s it She becomes shopworn goods if she falls out of love, and the acute observer can actually perceive this diminishment The problem he never quite honestly addresses is that the young woman who has been properly raised in ignorance, excuse me, innocent purity, has no idea what love even is at best, she might feel the quick flutter of attraction, and the enjoyment of attention She loves his compliment on her new gown, without any notion that he wants to rip it off of her.Gaskell, in this book, manages to make it clear for those with the experience to recognize the signals that innocent maidenhood is in fact a danger to the maiden, howevermuch the man likes control And he doesn t always win her, either We get hints about Mr Preston being a bit of a rake he is cruel in his very soul tigerish, with his beautiful striped skin and relentless heart , having a Past, and his obsession with Cynthia is replete with his promises that if he can get her to wife, he can make her love him Right Married readers knew what that meant, even if young readers thought it a pretty sentiment.Marriages in this novel are made between well meaning people who have nothing in common, such as the Hamleys both wanting to do right by the other, but never understanding them, until one of them dwindles and dies This is a theme that Jane Austen explored, and Gaskell picks up Austen suffices with dry wit and satire Gaskell uses comedy to wonderful effect, but she writes as a mother, with compassion and insight into both sides Molly makes reference to fearing that being good means being like a candle snuffed out Osborne is bewildered because he married a good woman, one he loves, but he cannot broach the invisible wall of rank to tell his beloved father The doctor, for all his sharp observation, hooks up with a woman who slowly and relentlessly drives him out of the house with her continuous selfish pettiness Roger Hamley, the other scientific eye, falls before a pretty face, without ever penetrating behind that pleasing manner until he finds himself dumped In this book the cost of innocent purity goes both ways, it s not just females as victims and men as predators But men have the option of movement and experience on their side the hemmed in woman does not, so who can blame Lady Harriet for not wanting to risk the comfortable life of a single woman for the dangerous waters of marriage

  8. says:

    I finished this 700 page book in less than four days, which of course means that by my rating system it s a five star, utterly compulsive read But now having gulped the whole thing down I m going back to re read it at a sedate, Victorian pace How could I not love a book that has lines like these I won t say she was silly, but I think one of us was silly, and it wasn t me All sorts of thoughts cross one s mind it depends upon whether one gives them harbour and encouragement Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom Your husband this morning Mine tonight What do you take him for A man smiled Cynthia And therefore, if you won t let me call him changeable, I ll coin a word and call him consolable There are so many terrific reviews of this classic that I doubt I can add much, except to say that I love Elizabeth Gaskell and I nearly cried as I turned that last page knowing it was the abrupt end, not just of an engrossing story filled with complex characters, humor, and thoughtful insights, but also because it was the last thing Mrs Gaskell wrote she died before she could pen the final chapter.April 12 group read here

  9. says:

    I loved sweet Molly Gibson and her father who is the village doctor On the other hand, her stepmother and stepsister were something else The only thing sad in this book is that Gaskell died before finishing it

  10. says:

    4.5 5 stars This book was really really good I even think it was better than North South by the same author, which seems to be a lot of people s favourite What I love the most about this story is the characters which are so distinct and different from each other, but all yet so lovable I loved how Elizabeth Gaskell has created such a variety of characters that you can t help but love, even though some of them are definitely meant to be annoying and impertinent a new word that I learned when reading this story I was rooting for everyone of them, and especially Molly and the Hamley brothers I also really like how Elizabeth Gaskell plays with your mind and makes you think that something really bad is going to happen, and then it turns out to be quite exaggerated While I would have loved for a big twist to set in, I also very much appreciated how the story turned out Molly is a little bit too naive and weak at times which is one of the reasons why this book is not a 5 star read for me, but in the end I can t really put my finger on anything bad about this story Despite its 766 pages, Gaskell keeps it fresh and entertaining throughout, and I loved it for that

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *