Synopsis: Set in English society before the 1832 Reform 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 more than a nostalgic evocation of village life; it offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society. ‘No nineteenth-century novel contains a more 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.
Review:Gaskell wrote this to be a story of everyday life in response to the more dramatic stories that were popular at the time. It’s a very pleasant study of rural life and relationships in 1830’s England. Beautifully written though lengthy and quite humorous at times especially with Molly’s father. It’s a charming easy read (despite its length) and unfortunately is unfinished due to Gaskell’s death. My edition featured notes from the editor of the magazine it was originally published which details the author’s plans for the ending.
I very much enjoyed reading this. It’s perfect when you want to read something pleasant and easy going.
My favourite month is over and now the Christmas silliness will begin. Costa coffee has already started using their Christmas cups. I’m just not emotionally ready for all of the Christmasness so I’m staying in Halloween mode for another few weeks. I am Grinching it up 😉
I had hoped to read creepy books in October but I somehow managed to read less than I would when it’s not spooky season! October was pretty much all about romances and historicals.
I am Heathcliff Curated by Kate Mosse ★★★★★
Short Story Collection, Audiobook
This is a collection of 16 short stories inspired by Wuthering Heights. Some of them are inspired by a theme in the novel and others are more like retellings. I absolutely loved this collection and plan on buying the paperback to reread and annotate.
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (Victober) ★★★★☆
This was the group read for Victober and I’m glad it was cause I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. Gaskell passed away while writing this book so it is unfinished but only a chapter away from completion. My edition included notes from the magazine the story was originally printed in which states the authors intended ending for the book so I wasn’t left in the lurch but it would have been nice to read it as part of the novel. The story follows Molly Gibson’s family life, friendships and eventual romance. It’s not a very exciting book but very pleasant to read.
I loved this! It was interesting to read something with a strong focus on gender issues written by a man. I listened to the audiobook which Webb narrated and included an interview at the end about topics raised in the book. It was so interesting and left me with a lot to think about.
I enjoyed this even though it was a bit cheesy. The cast of characters are very endearing and the romance flows nicely (touch of instalove though). Ticks all the boxes for a good historical romance.
In order to avoid society due to her extreme shyness, Madeline invents a Scottish sweetheart away on military business. He saves her from awkward social situations until she feels she has lied long enough and claims he is killed in battle. Years later a man turns up at her door claiming to be her imaginary sweetie.