Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters

Book - 2000
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Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell's last novel, is regarded by many as her masterpiece. Molly Gibson is the daughter of the doctor in the small provincial town of Hollingford. Her widowed father marries a second time to give Molly the woman's presence he feels she lacks, but until thearrival of Cynthia, her dazzling step-sister, Molly finds her situation hard to accept. Intertwined with the story of the Gibsons is that of Squire Hamley and his two sons; as Molly grows up and falls in love she learns to judge people for what they are, not what they seem. Through Molly'sobservations the hierarchies, social values, and social changes of early nineteenth-century English life are made vivid in a novel that is timeless in its representation of human relationships.This edition, the first to be based in the original Cornhill Magazine serialization of 1864-6, draws on a full collation of the manuscript to present the most accurate text so far available.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000
ISBN: 9780192838391
0192838393
Branch Call Number: F GASKELL, E
Characteristics: xxxvii, 740 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Easson, Angus

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julia_sedai
Dec 03, 2019

This book was so good, until I read 650 pages only to find out that the author died before she completed it.

I chose this for book club (not realizing it was so long). Nobody finished it on time, not even me. But I'm glad I read it and finished it. I really liked North and South by Gaskell, and this one is just as good, if not better. It's not really a romance. It's a character study. My favourite are Mr. and Mrs. Gibson. I laughed a lot reading this book. Molly was annoying sometimes, until she would randomly stand up for herself and then I liked her. And she kept getting sick at all the crucial moments.

Also, the unfinished ending makes it very anti-climactic and it just feels like a letdown after reading such a great book. All I can say is that I can't help but think that some kind of tragedy will happen after Roger leaves (I'm looking at you, Charlotte Brontë).

Overall, I recommend this only if you really, really like reading classics.

crankylibrarian Sep 30, 2011

Jane Austen fans: If you've ever wondered how the Bennett sisters' daughters might have turned out, you may find this interesting. Although written in 1866, it is set 30 years earlier, in a time when Austen's universe of landed gentry was undergoing serious challenges from industrialization, scientific discovery, and social mobility.All are themes in the novel, which centers around a brilliant Scottish physician who marries a dim-witted, self-absorbed ex governess and social climber. Dr Gibson is admired by the local gentry for his intellect and integrity, but his imprudent marriage has disastrous consequences for his daughter Molly,who is saddled with a highly unsuitable stepmother. However, Molly's love for her flighty stepsister Cynthia ultimately redeems them all, and her selfless devotion to the dilettetantish aristocrats, gruff landowners, and querulous maiden ladies in her neighborhood wins all hearts...especially that of Roger, the local squire's unexpectedly brilliant son.

Wives and Daughters will often remind you of other, better novels, (the tart relationship between Dr and Mrs Gibson echoes Mr. and Mrs Bennett, and the brooding, dissipated Osborne is pure Bronte), and I do wish Molly and Cynthia didn't weep quite so often.Yet I can't recall any other such novels where two of the heroes are men of science, or where the various social classes are presented with such clarity and overall sympathy. While not a great novel, the large well-drawn cast of characters and winning heroine makes this a worthwhile read.

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GingerKaren
Jan 26, 2005

Poor Molly Gibson! Not only has she been motherless since she was young girl, she is easily put upon by firends and neighbours to help out. However her good nature is at war with what she really fells about things. When her father announces his impending marriage to a woman Molly dislikes intensely, and the new step mother has a very flirty daughter, Molly''s life becomes very complicated. Soon the new sister is engaged to someone who Molly loves very deeply, and the whole town will be turned upside down with scandal and secrets. How Molly shines through and changes into a most wonderful young woman is up to the reader to discover! A delightful read that has been turned into a scrumptious video presentation produced by Sue Birtwistle, no less!

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julia_sedai
Dec 03, 2019

"I won't say she was silly, but I think one of us was silly, and it was not me."

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loria1121
Dec 20, 2014

I would much rather have two or three lilies of the valley picked by someone I liked than the most expensive bouquet that can be bought.

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Zoe100 Aug 24, 2011

Zoe100 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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