- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1484108736
- ISBN-13: 978-1484108734
- Average Customer Review: 261 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,940,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wives and Daughters
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Novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, first published serially in the Cornhill Magazine (August 1864-January 1866) and then in book form in 1866; it was unfinished at the time of her death in November 1865. Known as her last, longest, and perhaps finest work, it concerns the interlocking fortunes of several families in the country town of Hollingford. Wives and Daughters chronicles the maturation of Molly Gibson, a sincere young woman whose widowed father, the town doctor, marries Hyacinth Kirkpatrick, a charming but petty widow and former governess in the household of Lord Cumnor. Although Molly resents her stepmother, she befriends her stepsister Cynthia, who is secretly engaged to Lord Cumnor's land agent, Mr. Preston. Molly is warmly received at the home of Squire Hamley and his disabled wife. The Hamleys' two sons are Osborne, a clever but shallow man who marries unwisely and dies young, and Roger, an honest scientist who eventually marries Molly after being engaged to Cynthia, who ultimately weds a London barrister. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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We all have known women like Cynthia; they are so charming that men and women love to do things for them. My sister is like this. Once she had a date and hadn't done her housework so I volunteered to do it for her so she wouldn't miss out on her date. Only later, when I was doing her work, did I say to myself, " Why did I let her do this to me? She is out having fun and I am cleaning up her messes." Does that sound familiar?
Molly does end up cleaning some of Cynthia's messes and it could be catastrophic for her, had she not made some important friends along the way who clear her name.
Hyacinth Kirkpatrick is the one you love to hate. Although not an "evil" stepmother, she is probably the most self involved narcissist I have read about in many years.
This was Mrs. Gaskell's last book, left unfinished at her death, but the story winds down enough that you can see where she is going and who ends up with who at the end.
Mrs. Gaskell always writes wonderful characters and even Cynthia, who was neglected as a child is sympathetic and believable. Mrs. Kirkpatrick Gibson is harder to like but you can understand how she came to be who she came to be. Molly is the most enjoyable person in the book and there is no way you can't come away with an admiration of her character's ethics and likeability.
The men play a good part of the story and for the most part they are original and beautifully drawn.
This is a good story and it will capture your heart.