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Half A Lifetime Ago

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  15 reviews
This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published June 17th 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1855)
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Average rating 3.44  · 
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sabisteb aka callisto
“Half a Life Time Ago” erzählt die Geschichte von Susan Dixon. Susan ist ein nettes Mädchen, nicht wirklich gut aussehend, eher durchschnittlich, aber fleißig und vom finanziellen Standpunkt her eine gute Partie.
Michael Hurst, ein junger, gutaussehender Mann, lebt bei Susans Familie, um von ihrem Vater das Handwerk des Landwirts zu erlernen und vielleicht Susan für sich zu gewinnen. Unter den Eltern der beiden jungen Leute ist das bereits abgesprochen und geklärt, falls sich die beiden in einan
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~ Cheryl ~

The setting for this story is one Gaskell has written often and well in her short fiction, that is, bleak, up-country farm life. The main character is Susan Dixon, and the story is the rather cheerless account of what happened to her “half a lifetime ago,” events which presumably caused her to become the dour, solitary woman she is.

The themes and tone of Half a Lifetime Ago reminded me a great deal of Cousin Phillis. I did like it, and much of what I enjoy about Gaskell’s writing is found here.
...more
Grace Harwood
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the very sombre tale of Susan, and the things that happened to her "half a life-time ago" to make her the reserved, stern woman she appears to be. It's a tale of illness, loss and disappointment in love; it's also a tale about time and how slowly it will seem to pass looking forward but how quickly it has gone when looking back.

I enjoyed reading this story very much, the more so because I'm quite familiar with the area around Coniston in the Lakes, where the story is set. It's a poignant
...more
Linda Collings
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Really liked this. Some parts really annoyed me.
Diana Long
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short story featuring the life of the protagonist Susan. The story begins describing the country side and long time resident Susan, her current life. The narrator takes us back in time and tells the tale of the events that shaped her life and choices she had to make. Then a little further forward again. I found this a very moving piece of literature. What would I or anyone else do when faced with what this lady did? Another very interesting and imaginative read.
Toffeeapple
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a lot of emotion in this book! I am so glad that I have managed to live without such drama.
Ms_prue
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Got it for free, read it on the Kindle app on the iPad. More of a novella. The ending seemed sudden and unexpected but it made me smile.
Tabrizia
A morose short story about love lost and the sacrifices we might have to make, even though it will hurt us in the end.
Jillian
I'm currently reading North & South but veered off last night and this morning to read this finely sketched tale of what might have lived behind the sternly carved face of an older woman in the nineteenth century.

My first full fictional work by Gaskell. It's five chapters long. :) I'm learning this was a passion of Gaskell's: this bringing into focus the faces in Victorian society which many passed unseen, & molding into life the poetic vernacular of them. So many people lived a whole lifetime w
...more
Chambodia
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Too bleak for me. I wanted to root for Susan, and even though I thought her right to want to fulfill the promise she made to her mother, she didn't have to shut the rest of the world out, too. Then the last sentence pops up to tack on a happy ending. What was the point?
April
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Average (what you would expect from Gaskell)
Hannah
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story is bleak and full of sorrow. Its ending, perhaps, redeems it; but I give it only 1.5 stars.
Sneha
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
I don't think I liked any of the characters especially Susan. She was so sharp and harsh even before most of her losses that I felt quite sorry for her to-be husband(who was rather unpleasant himself). As for her brother, his mother probably spoiled him a lot and though he wasn't bad, his delicacy and lack of spirit made him unlikable. Walter of Anne of Green Gables was in ways similar but I loved him for what he has. In this story, I have a mind to give Willie (her brother) a good shake. It was ...more
Water
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Morose short story by Gaskell. I didn't care much for the heroine, so I couldn't sympathize much with her trials and tribulations. Save this for when you have run out of Gaskell books!
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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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