Wives and Daughters
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... show more
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.
Publish date: January 1st 1997
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 679
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Book Club
, Adult Fiction
, Historical Fiction
, Classic Literature
, 19th Century
I listened to the Blackstone Audio book, read by Nadia May, who was wonderful and clearly enjoyed reading this book aloud. I don't think my experience would have been nearly as rich reading the book to myself. The downside is that it's almost 16 hours long! That's a pretty big time investment as a l...
Having heard a lot about Gaskell, I was prepared for something similar to Jane Austen. And in many instances, Gaskell fulfilled that expectation. This was a romance with the pre-requisite class distinction, harsh societal rules and busy bodies. Unfortunately, it also had Molly, the main characte...
I was prepared to be generous and give "Wives and Daughters" four stars for its sarcasm, deeply complex characters and many relevant themes. However there were small parts of the novel I did not like, and as the ending disappointed me gravely I ended on three stars instead.I adore Gaskell's biting s...
In Gaskell's final (and unfinished) novel, she focuses on the quiet English countryside, where the Gibson and Hamley families live. Molly is the heroine of the novel. She's very likeable, loving character; in fact, she seems to be the emotional voice of the story; everyone else prides themselves on ...
Why has it taken me so long to finally read this wonderful novel? I bought the Penguin edition when I was in my 20s, read a page or two, put it down and didn't pick it up again. The book sat on my shelf for years. For all I know, it could be there still. However, after university I went right off Vi...
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