Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth: Ch. 4 – A Visual Tour of Milham Grange

Gaskell Blog ©
Guest Contributor: Kim Egolf

Milham Grange is Ruth’s childhood home. She has happy memories of living there with her father and mother. (For more analysis on the significance of the home, see my post on Chapter Four.) Here’s what I imagine the home might look like…

It was past five o’clock before they came to the great mill-wheel, which stood in Sabbath idleness, motionless in a brown mass of shade, and still wet with yesterday’s immersion in the deep transparent water beneath…

Photo © Ed Aisela

Milham Grange, now lying still and peaceful in its afternoon shadows. It was a house of after-thoughts; building materials were plentiful in the neighbourhood, and every successive owner had found a necessity for some addition or projection, till it was a picturesque mass of irregularity — of broken light and shadow — which, as a whole, gave a full and complete idea of a ‘Home’. All its gables and nooks were blended and held together by the tender green of the climbing roses and young creepers.

Photo © Flickr User: Gaellery

They went silently through the untrimmed garden, full of the pale-coloured flowers of spring.

Photo © UKGardenPhotos

… she wandered among the flowers, seeking for favourite bushes or plants, to which some history or remembrance was attached. She wound in and out in natural, graceful, wavy lines between the luxuriant and overgrown shrubs, which were fragrant with a leafy smell of spring growth… Once she stopped to take hold of a spray of jessamine, and softly kiss it; it had been her mother’s favourite flower.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. There’s something so charming and nostalgic about a mill-wheel, it seems perfect somehow that Ruth’s home has one. 🙂

  2. Kim says:

    I thought so too… an instant image of another time and place!

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