Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth: Ch. 7 Visual Annotation – Ruth’s Vigil

Gaskell Blog © Katherine C.

Once again Gaskell creates very vivid imagery, here are photos to help interpret it:

Photo © James Bremmer

On the other side were two windows, cut into the thick stone wall, and flower-pots were placed on the shelves thus formed, where great untrimmed, straggling geraniums grew, and strove to reach the light…

A soft grey oblong of barred light fell on the flat wall opposite to the windows, and deeper grey shadows marked out the tracery of the plants, more graceful thus than in reality…

Photo © Bill Welsh
Photo © Rajesh – Himalayan Trails

…Out beyond, under the calm sky, veiled with a mist rather than with a cloud, rose the high, dark outlines of the mountains, shutting in that village as if it lay in a nest. They stood, like giants, solemnly watching for the end of Earth and Time.

Photo © HN of Flicker
Photo © Tomas Hellberg

Here and there a black round shadow reminded Ruth of some “Cwm,” or hollow, where she and her lover had rambled in sun and in gladness. She then thought the land enchanted into everlasting brightness and happiness; she fancied, then, that into a region so lovely no bale or woe could enter, but would be charmed away and disappear before the sight of the glorious guardian mountains.

…The white roses glimmered out in the dusk all the night through; the red were lost in shadow. Between the low boundary of the garden and the hills swept one or two green meadows; Ruth looked into the grey darkness till she traced each separate wave of outline…

Photo © Dawn Huczek

…many little birds began to scent the coming dawn, and rustled among the leaves, and chirruped loud and clear.

Photo © Jorge Rimblas

Just above the horizon, too, the mist became a silvery grey cloud hanging on the edge of the world; presently it turned shimmering white; and then, in an instant, it flushed into rose, and the mountain-tops sprang into heaven, and bathed in the presence of the shadow of God. With a bound, the sun of a molten fiery red came above the horizon, and immediately thousands of little birds sang out for joy, and a soft chorus of mysterious, glad murmurs came forth from the earth


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Kim says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous. Makes this scene come alive!

    1. Thank you, Kim! 🙂

  2. Anna says:

    What a lovely post! It really does bring alive Gaskell’s writing.

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