The heroine of Elizabeth Gaskell's last novel passes from childhood to maturity in a process that, though often painful for her, is sharply and humorously observed. Set in the early 19th century, this novel is a subtle representation of historical change explored in human terms.
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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.About the Author:
Elizabeth Gaskell was born in London in 1810 but spent most of her life in Cheshire, Stratford-upon-Avon. She married the Reverend William Gaskell and had four daughters by him. She worked among the poor, travelled frequently and wrote for Dickens's magazine, Household Words. Elizabeth Gaskell was friends with Charlotte Bronte and consequently went on to write her biography.
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Book Description Penguin UK, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 140272666
Book Description Penguin UK, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140272666