The Gaskell Chronicle brings together the best recent blog posts, covering a variety of opinions, news items, and events related to Elizabeth Gaskell each Saturday. If there is something you’d like to suggest be included please contact me.
North and South
Simply Rachel P. How Margaret Hale sets an example to the modern women
I have always held the opinion that women really look for love often and everywhere, But Miss Hale seemed to focus not on being loved but loving others and really tiring her self out to do it! She so a passion, common sense, friendship, love, and protecting those she loves, even if it means to be saw as someone who is lair or worst. She is everything I wish to be as a woman, she is my hero! … read more.
The Introverted Reader Sheds another perspective on Margaret Hale and Mr. Thornton
Margaret herself bothered me because she was such a snob. Her family barely had money to live on, but she thought she was better than rich Mr. Thornton, simply because he didn’t inherit his money. She did unbend enough to help the poor factory workers, but it felt that there was a bit of condescension in her manner toward them. I do realize that I’m a 21st-century reader taking on a 19th-century book, but the descriptions of the squalor the workers lived in and how tacky it was for them to leave their washing out to dry irritated me. Poor does not necessarily equal dirty. And where else would they dry their laundry when there was barely enough room for all the family in the house?… read more.
Likened to Pride and Prejudice it is darker than that with no light relief at all in the form of a Mr. Collins. Here death is everywhere and this gives a heavy note to the book. There is poverty in its harshest form as well. It all ends well though for the lovers and this was the lighter part of the book which I enjoyed. The descriptiveness of both village as well as industrial Milton was also very much part of the story. A very interesting read… read more.
Wives and Daughters
A tale with a similar background to The Merchant of Venice of love, money and travel, along with some family issues too. It brings the era the book is set in to life and makes the reader feel like they are right there alongside the characters. Having it written so that it isn’t just from one persons point of view helps to add to the overall story, as it helps the reader to get to know what is happening in more than one of the books little worlds at a time… read more.
Our Little Corner of the World Analieze ranks the BBC Production of Wives and Daughters as her 3rd favorite Masterpiece Classic
It reminds me of a Cinderella story only because Molly’s father remarries after her mother dies and the stepmother, while not exactly wicked, is very annoying. Molly is loyal, humble, and thinks of everyone else but herself, keeping secrets others tell her, even though they visibly burden her. She’s very patient, though not a very take-action person, but something in her finally snaps and she takes a leap of faith to win over the man she secretly loves.It reminds me of a Cinderella story only because Molly’s father remarries after her mother dies and the stepmother, while not exactly wicked, is very annoying. Molly is loyal, humble, and thinks of everyone else but herself, keeping secrets others tell her, even though they visibly burden her. She’s very patient, though not a very take-action person, but something in her finally snaps and she takes a leap of faith to win over the man she secretly loves… read more.
Brush off your bustle and fasten your bonnets as Chapterhouse Theatre Company invite you to the sleepy village of Cranford where a mysterious new arrival is setting hearts aflutter. At the centre of the village are the outrageously proper spinster sisters, Matty and Deborah Jenkyns, who head an unforgettable collection of lovably misguided womenfolk. Set deep in the tranquil English countryside, this most traditional tale of splendid snobbery, gossip and social scandal pits lost loves against old friends with sensational results. This wonderful new adaptation comes from Laura Turner, whose recent successes include a sell out national tour of Pride and Prejudice, and promises to be one of the most fun and exhilarating evenings of the summer with music, song, romance and dance.
The Moorland Cottage
The Sleepy Owl writes her thoughts on the novella
All in all I’d characterize this book as light reading, health food for your brain without making your brain work all that hard. The story itself is charming if not particularly original. Gaskell does, however, resolve the loose ends for her characters in a fairly unusual and unexpected way, (suddenly I wonder if Daphne du Maurier was a fan) keeping the book well out of danger of being just another polite society romance. It wouldn’t really be in danger of that anyway, on the strength of Gaskell’s writing… Her prose is simple, clear, and expressive… read more.
Shaggy Dog Story Selene reviews the storyline and characters
This is a simple story, with some problematically good (and bad) characters, and a bit of melodrama thrown in. It’s a quiet story, despite some of the big action in it. A nice time-passer, but no North and South. I think I like Gaskell more when she holds forth a little, and explores people and situations in more detail. Moorland felt more like a practice story… Good for a rainy day… read more.