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My Lady Ludlow

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  470 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Mrs. Gaskell was a Victorian short story and novelist. Her biography of Charlotte Bronte is her most famous work. Gaskell's novels portray varied social classes. Gaskell saw and wrote about the problems caused by the gulf between the social classes. She fought for tolerance and better labor conditions. My Lady Ludlow is a novella, which recounts the daily lives of the wido ...more
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Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 1858)
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Jul 17, 2016 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am trying hard to finish this book before a trip, but I must say it is slow going with the 64-page digression to tell a story from the French Revolution. Sixty-four pages. Digression. French Revolution.

Elizabeth Gaskell is impersonating Victor Hugo.

7/17 Update: Finished!!! I'll take my literary cred now, thank you. My full review will have to wait until I return from my trip, but I'll just say now that I have no idea what the point of this novel was. North and South and Wives and Daughters ha
Oct 12, 2011 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it
My Lady Ludlow is one of the Elizabeth Gaskell books that the BBC miniseries Cranford is based on, and because the TV series used more than one of her novels the plots had to be altered so they could fit together. Seeing the series made me want to read what Gaskell wrote, and though sometimes it’s irritating when the book and screen version diverge, in this case reading the book was like indulging in a pleasant alternate reality. I had a little more time to spend with characters I had come to lo ...more
Laurel Hicks
Slim on plot but fat on character, and invaluable in the insight it gives to the times.
Gayle Francis Moffet

Where I found charm in Cranford and Mr. Harrison's Confessions, there's not really any charm in My Lady Ludlow. There is a multiple-chapter story as told by Lady Ludlow to the narrator (a young woman who lives with her) that is used to explain why Lady Ludlow doesn't want the lower classes to receive education, and I honestly can't tell if the story is met to be read as Lady Ludlow being entirely serious in her defense of not wanting people educated or if we're supposed to find her ridiculou
Diana Long
May 11, 2015 Diana Long rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novella by Mrs.Gaskill. The more familiar I become with this author the more I love her writing. In this tale she takes us to the late 18th to early 19th century. It is a narrative of a older woman who relates back to a time she spent in her young life during a brief stay of a few years with an aristocratic Lady and her memories. I did realize a few facts I had not thought about before relating to the culture of this period of time. Highly recommend this read as well as her other novels and sh ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Traveling, it does a 50-book challenge good.

This book definitely counts more than Dr. Harrison...but I may need a break for Gaskell. Her first person narratives are starting to wear thin.

This book focuses on the narrator who goes to live with her distant relative, Lady Ludlow. LL is a old-fashioned noble, with old-fashioned ideals and a strict adherence to the way "things should be." She is also a tragic figure who bore and lost many children. She is determined to help everyone in their neighbo
My Lady Ludlow ist eine viktorianische Novella , die zunächst 1859 in Household Words erschien und dann noch einmal in Round the Sofa 1859 wiederverwertet wurde.
Lady Ludlow ist eine frame tale Erzählung in welcher Margaret Dawson über ihre Zeit als Gesellschafterin bei Lady Ludlow berichtet. Margaret Dawson ist die älteste von 9 Geschwistern und nach dem Tode ihres Vaters, nimmt Lady Ludlow, eine entfernte Cousine, sie bei sich auf, um sie auszubilden.
Mrs. Dawson erzählt, was während ihrer Zeit
Feb 11, 2015 Alicia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on Librivox, after watching the BBC "Cranford." (Lady Ludlow is included in "Cranford.") Though the readers were great, the problem with listening to slow-moving books is I can't speed-read ahead when I'm losing interest. I still love Elizabeth Gaskell's writing, but this is my least favorite work of hers.


“We cannot speak loudly or angrily at such times; we are not apt to be eager about mere worldly things, for our very awe at our quickened sense of the nearness of the
May 17, 2015 Helynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The widowed Countess Lady Ludlow, a stern, small town aristocrat with the proverbial heart of gold, cannot seem to get her head out of the eighteenth century nor get over her despair about the doctrines about the natural rights of man that bring up horrid memories of the rebellion in the American colonies and the French Revolution. She decries the new trend of universal literacy because she believes no good can come of teaching lower-class people how to read. “You may depend upon it, my dear, ma ...more
Jan 06, 2010 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Donna by: Kindle
Maybe even a 2.5. It is rare that I don't enjoy Victorian lit--but this is one time I really didn't. The story was ridiculouly rambling and tangential; the characters were annoying (with the exception of Miss Galindo, who is supposed to be annoying and who I rather liked); the ending was too abrupt; and there didn't seem to be any point.
Kelsey Bryant
Feb 28, 2016 Kelsey Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Maybe more like 4.5 stars. I loved the beginning and end, but the middle kind of lost me.

My Lady Ludlow is one of Elizabeth Gaskell's richly character-driven novels that I will definitely be rereading (when I get around to such a thing as rereading books...).
Aug 17, 2014 Sneha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book like the narrator herself states has no real beginning or end. There are many interesting characters and themes in the story. One of the hotly debated topics was the notion for education for all without teaching them the morality and responsibility that comes with knowledge. You could see the coming change in English society with the clamor for education and rights for all (a notion which seemed repellent to the aristocracy). A couple of chapters was devoted to the love story of two Fre ...more
Plus qu’un roman, comme Cranford, Lady Ludlow est avant tout une succession d’anecdotes amusantes ou émouvantes sur une société en pleine évolution (thème cher à Gaskell, qu’on retrouve aussi dans Nord et Sud et dans Femmes et filles). Comme toujours, les personnages de Gaskell sont intéressants car complexes. Elle ne porte pas de jugement moral sur eux. Du coup, Lady Ludlow, qui est rigide et qui se réfère encore à un code social quasi-féodal a aussi des aspects touchants. Rigide, réactionnair ...more
May 06, 2011 Mrsgaskell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, british, own, 8-star
My copy is actually not this edition but The Cranford Chronicles, a collection which includes Mr. Harrison's Confessions, Cranford, and My Lady Ludlow. I prefer to list them individually as I read them. Have previously read Cranford more than once but became aware of my Lady Ludlow and Mr. Harrison's Confessions after watching the BBC production of The Cranford Chronicles.

Lady Ludlow is a staunch upholder of the class system into which she was born. She is not in favour of change. And yet, she i
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Miss Mary Smith often visits Cranford. While she provides an outside view of the goings on of this town of "Amazons," she views herself as a true Cranfordian. She usually stays with Deborah and Matty Jenkyns, and later, after Deborah's death, with just Miss Matty. Yetshe has been known to stay with the gossipy and often inadvertently hilarious Miss Pole, in particular during the misunderstanding of what a cage is... to some, a piece of undergarments, to Miss Pole, erroneously a parrot cage. Ever ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Tanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this novel, mostly because I enjoy Gaskell's writing so much. It didn't have the depth of most of the other Gaskell novels though, and without checking, I would guess that this was an early effort. It is a quick read, however, and I'd recommend it to a Gaskell fan as a must read, and any other who enjoys the period as a quick enjoyable travel read.
Mar 18, 2014 Marlee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did really enjoy this book. However, I found it quite slow to start. It took me a while to feel invested in the book. However, I really loved the characters. Once I was more into the book, I really loved it. There didn't, in the end, seem to be all that much point, except maybe to show that Lady Ludlow is not as strict in her old beliefs as she proclaimed to be. But, it was fun to read. Her stories didn't tend to convince me of her being right-they simply were enjoyable stories.
Jan 11, 2010 Deb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books-read
My Lady Ludlow is one of the books that the PBS series Cranford is based on. I downloaded this novel for my Kindle. I enjoyed the story despite the mid 19th century writing style. It's not Jane Austen, but it's readable and provides an interesting insight into a long-vanished world. Lady Ludlow is a dying breed, who is struggling as the world changes around her. She is an aristocrat born in the 18th century as the 19th century brings innovation and social change at a dizzying pace. It was easy ...more
Oct 29, 2015 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sheds light on a character from Cranford whose actions and motivations otherwise seem inexplicable to a modern reader. Why would anyone seek to deny education and personal betterment? Well, Lady Ludlow has her reasons, based on her own experience. Of course I can't agree with her attitude, but now I understand her position better.
I can't praise Gaskell enough. Her writing style is so modern. She tells stories as from memory rather than chronologically. Her empathy for people from all classes is so evident in this book. She takes a controversial issue of the early 19th century, teaching children from the lower classes to read and write, and shows how it is viewed form all angles. Lady Ludlow is vehemently againdst it. The parson is vehemently for it. Gaskell shares a dramatic tale about the French revolution to explain La ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to, librivox
Gaskell creates a story that shows a world that is long gone in our day and was disappearing in hers. There is really no plot to this story. Instead it us a series of stories about Lady Ludlow told by a young lady who lives with her for a time. Lady Ludlow is concerned for the future if the lower orders are educated. She feels strongly that education without moral roots led to the French Revolution and the death of many she cared for. Much of the story is her retelling the tragic end of these Fr ...more
Simone Ramone
It pains me to rate Elizabeth at anything less than 5 stars, alas, enough of this tale felt like it might be by Dickens himself that it was a sad let down.
Emily L Hewett
A Different Kind of Book

Told in the first person. Would make a good movie for PBS. Gives a good insight into 18th century English culture.
K.M. Weiland
Like so many readers, I picked up this little-known Gaskell novel because of its relation to the BBC miniseries Cranford. Aside from a basic interest in seeing how this story was woven into the other two upon which the series was based, it was also a pleasure to see Gaskell at work, crafting a truly wonderful character in Lady Ludlow. She's brought into so much greater focus here than we see in the television series. Absolutely charming. However, the book itself is extremely episodic, focusing a ...more
Katie Browning
The first Gaskell book I have read that I haven't found any attachment to. It doesn't feel like a fluid story--just portraits of a few different characters spun into an 100 pageish novel. Meh.
Apr 21, 2016 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a story, not charming like Cranford - but full of interesting attitudes of the times.
Mar 08, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking for some of the characters in the movie "Cranford" that are not in the book "Cranford" and I found some of them here. This book made me think. I had never seen someone actually make a plausible argument for not educating people, but whether you agree or not, the case is made. At the very least, this book makes the case that character, ethics, and integrity must be taught along with reading, writing, and arithmetic. I really liked the story within the story that is told. It is ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as the author's Cranford, but still very entertaining.
Jan 16, 2014 Water rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book falls along the lines of "Cranford", but without the sparkling humor. It centers on an old noblewoman (Lady Ludlow) and her collection of spinster companions. Save this novella for when you've out of Gaskell works to read. Not bad, but not entirely satisfying either.
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Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, née Stevenson (29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865), often referred to simply as Mrs. Gaskell, was an English novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era. She is perhaps best known for her biography of Charlotte Brontë. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of society, including the very poor, and as such are of interest to socia ...more
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“We cannot speak loudly or angrily at such times; we are not apt to be eager about mere worldly things, for our very awe at our quickened sense of the nearness of the invisible world, makes us calm and serene about the petty trifles of today.” 5 likes
“I have often thought of the postman’s bringing me a letter as one of the pleasures I shall miss in heaven.” 2 likes
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