Holly's Reviews > Mary Barton

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
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's review
Sep 01, 08

bookshelves: historical-fiction, classics
Read in September, 2008

I'm not sure why I feel the need to read 19th century women's British lit, but I always go back to it, whether it's re-reading Austen or trying out new titles and authors. At first it was reading anything by Austen or that was Austenesque in period, satire, and romance. Now I've come to love reading the formal British diction and grammar - long sentences, Hackney London accents, and all. It's also an interesting way to learn about and live the historical period.

That said, I've read Gaskell before and I wasn't disappointed this time around. The murder mystery and melodramatic romance of Mary Barton were engaging, but I found the poverty of Manchester factory life and the fully rendered characters and their rich relationships, which Gaskell captures so well, most worthwhile. Almost as good as North and South.
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