Elizabeth Gaskell herself wrote in an essay: “…and you know I can tell stories better than any other way of expressing myself.” The stories in her novels have been charming me for years, and now – with the help of this group read – I am quite enjoying the story in this shorter work… read more.
What strikes me about Gaskell’s particular variation of this familiar story is how her characters seem to be perfect molds of their respective virtues or vices, and yet we still care about them. I usually find myself turning off to characters who have little moral depth or incentive to change. Yet I wanted to spend more time with the virtuous Maggie and Frank. I even found myself hoping that Edward might change his dissolute ways. (Though I knew from the start that Mrs. Browne was already a lost cause!)… read more.
Fleur Fisher in Her World shares her reactions to the novella’s first two chapters
A picture was built up from well chosen and observed details, and I came to understand the family’s situation, how loss had altered their lives, and how their relationships worked. I believed in them and they touched me… read more.
The first chapter paints us a picture that reminded me very much of my trip to England’s Lake District last July. According to the Gaskell blog Elizabeth Gaskell wrote this work while staying near Lake Windermere, so it is no wonder that my memories of the area kept popping up while I read her lyrical descriptions… read more.
Iris on Books writes her overall thoughts and analysis of the novel
The Moorland Cottage is classic Gaskell, in the vein of Cranford or Wives and Daughters. Unlike North and South, or Mary Barton, Gaskell does not dwell on social inequality because of the Industrial Revolution. Yes, the two families depicted follow a different path in life, and one is poorer while the other is quite well off, and there is a commentary on the idea that people should not marry below their class, since Gaskell makes sure to let love prevail in the end, but The Moorland Cottage definitely has a more cosy setting than the works in which she talks about manufacturing towns… read more.
The Artists Satchel Patricia shares Gaskell’s beautiful description and use of Wordsworth’s poem
Elizabeth Gaskell kept me holding tightly the written word as I read this beautiful story. Sad in many real life ways the story is definitely pertaining to family dynamics – how the family as a whole influences the decisions of other family members as well as how from a distance, kin and neighbors become intertwined throughout each others family… read more.