(e)Book Read! Mary Barton (CP 2011)

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, Mary Barton, 1848.

First sentence: “There are some fields near Manchester, well-known to the inhabitants as ‘Green Heys Fields’, though which runs a public footpath to a little village about two miles distant.”

P. 99: “It’s not to be forgotten, or forgiven either, by me or many another; but I canna tell of our down-casting just as a piece of London news.”

Last sentence: “‘Dear Job Legh!’, said Mary, softly and seriously.”

This was the first novel by Gaskell that I read and I really liked it.  From what I learned about the author, she knew what she wrote about and that shows in the story.  You are drawn into it almost immediately and the characters become like real people.

Although this is a story about poverty, illness and disease, it is also, and most of all, about friendship, love and hope.  Amazing to see what people are capable of in the most despairing circumstances.



  1. I read this, but I do like North & South (of course), Cranford and Wives and Daughters better. I wouldn’t know about her other ones, as I have not read them yet 🙂 I’m glad your first experience with Gaskell was a good one. I might have needed to shun your blog had you hated her 😉

    • It seems I choose the right title then by Gaskell for getting to know her. Now I know that I will love all her books.
      Thanks for your comment!

      • Haven’t red anything of Gaskell yet, but can imagine, while reading the first sentence, that it is easy to visualize her words. I think that is a very important capability of a good writer. Looking forward to read it myself :). Thnx for sharing!

      • I love reading books by authors who are capable of describing a room or a landscape or even an atmosphere in a few words or a few sentences and you feel immediately involved. Gaskell is definitely one of those authors.
        Thanks for your comment!
        When you want to read it, you can get the e-book for free on Gutenberg project, as you can almost any classic.

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