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The Moorland Cottage

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  787 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Maggie Browne, the daughter of a deceased clergyman, is encouraged to give up her own life and passions and devote herself to her brother Edward. Through the example and guidance of her mother—who dotes on Edward constantly—and her mentor, Mrs. Buxton, Maggie learns that self-sacrifice is the key to living a fulfilled life. The precursor to and arguably the template for ...more
Paperback, 143 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Hesperus Press (first published 1850)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Katie Lumsden
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great novella - thoroughly engaging, with well built characters and a very interesting sibling relationship. Maggie is a fascinating character and the conflict between her duty to herself and her duty to her family is wonderfully explored.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prior to coming upon this book recently, I had thought I had read all Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels and most of her short stories years ago, I re-read Cranford two years ago and loved it all over again. I was therefore both surprised and delighted to come across this short novel which I hadn’t either read or heard of. What a treat!
“If you take the turn to the left, after you pass the lyke-gate at Combehurst Church, you will come to the wooden bridge over the brook; keep along the field path, which
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book, classic, 2014
Although short, this book brings up a difficult question (one that perturbs our modern-day American culture of individualism in a way that it probably would not in other cultures and times), how much do our family members reflect upon us, and we upon them - and how much are we to sacrifice of our own needs for theirs? It's easy to dismiss Maggie as meek and spineless - but I don't know that that's true.
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maggie endures with patience the selfishness of her mother and brother, and finds friendship with the invalid wife of their rich neighbor, Mr. Buxton. The two families' destinies become dangerously linked when Maggie's brother goes astray, and Mr. Buxton demands a high price for saving him.

I loved Maggie's strong character! She has a quiet and meek personality, but wonderfully fierce in her defense of the truth. I really loved her character development as she strives to make good decisions for
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A story of two siblings - one more favoured by their mother than the other. Most of this short novel is quite slow, taking its time setting up the premise but the fast-paced unexpected ending more than made up for it for me.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Engaging moral tale with a melodramatic resolution.
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ebook
This was a great classic. I enjoyed the characters, rooted for Maggie and Frank, despised the unloving mother, and was torn over what to think of Edward. The imagery in the book is beautiful-you feel like you are there in the cottage, at the thorn tree with Maggie and feel the wind off the moor. Someday maybe I'll really get to experience the moors for myself! A triumphant feel good story. I give it 4 stars.
Tracey the Bookworm
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love this author. This novella is not fully developed but still a good read by a great author.
Not as well-known as Gaskell's other works and rightly so. I found the first half extremely tedious as not much happens and the qualities of the characters are repeated endlessly: Maggie is good and unselfish and pure and steadfast and patient and...honestly? I really hated Maggie in the first half, and kept wishing she would grow a spine. The second half wasn't as bad because stuff happened but the plot is melodramatic and none of the characters undergo any significant development.

If you're
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: scribd
A sweet little story. I was afraid for a bit there that it wouldn't have a happy ending, and I guess it wasn't an undiluted happiness, but it was a good ending.

Definitely a Victorian moral tale, and the characters were very one-dimensionally good or bad (except maybe Mr. Buxton, who was a little more complex). It was also fairly unbelievable on many levels.

But still, it was a sweet story.
~ Cheryl ~

So, what keeps happening is, every time I start one of Gaskell’s novellas, I just get sucked in. And even though I imagine that I am “between books” and that “don’t know what to read next,” I suddenly find myself at 10% on my Kindle, and grinning contentedly. Truly, I have found ALL of Gaskell’s novellas to have been powerfully evocative, yet she has such a light touch. This is one reason why I find her such a pleasure to read.

This book tells the story of a widowed woman and her two children
John Peel
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Mrs. Gaskell is firmly of the 19th Century, but she created some fine tales. This is one of her lesser works, the story of two families bound together by friendship and, inevitably, love. The pace is slow, but the characters are interesting. The story is enjoyable, but it reads like it was meant to be a longer work and the author's enthusiasm simply ran out.
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sweet little "Cinderella" story by a great author. It was short and simple and preachy and melodramatic, but I enjoyed it!


"Thus every hour in its circle brought a duty to be fulfilled; but duties fulfilled are as pleasures to the memory, and little Maggie always thought those early childish days most happy, and remembered them only as filled with careless contentment." -Chapter 1

"She had never before ventured into the world, and did not know how common and universal is the custom of
Nov 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This is one of Gaskell's lesser known novels and, while the writing is still there, the story is a thin Victorian melodrama.
It goes something like this -- wealthy landowner's son falls in love with virtuous, but poor, clergyman's daughter. (Clergyman, of course, is deceased.) Landowner is appalled his son is interested in this poor, but salt-of-the-earth young woman and has not-so-secretly imagined him to be married to his cousin. Said cousin could care less about wealthy landowner's son
I have read and enjoyed several of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels and so I started this book with fairly high expectations... unfortunately it's nothing like as accomplished as Cranford, North & South or Wives & Daughters. The overall tone is positively maudlin and the style of writing very old fashioned and melodramatic. It's a short novel but even so, I only managed about a third of if before I reached gagging point.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
I would have given it two stars if Maggie hadn't shown some spunk in the end. The imagery was nice! I could see the cottage and the moors. There were many unlikable characters (the mother, the brother) and although Maggie was virtuous I didn't really like her. She was simply nice and I wished her well as we parted ways amiably!
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Gaskell never ceases to impress me. This book is so beautiful, quiet and peaceful. The characters are passionate and well written.
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not surprised to have loved reading this short story: Elizabeth Gaskell was an expert storyteller, and The Moorland Cottage is a fine proof of that.
Although the story was short (I read it all in one day), it was dense and extensive in terms of characterisation and the plot moved along at an exciting place. I particularly admire how Gaskell was able to put together a somewhat complex and intricate narrative with a limited number of characters. Like most other of Gaskell's novels, each
Andrea Majarrez
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I started reading it as a possible translation project but in the end, I simply enjoyed it as a story which contains topics such as injustice, hidden emotions, and love. I loved Maggies patience and kindness, and I hated her mother and selfish brother. I think the book is a perfect mirror of the situation of women at the time. It reflects the unfair situation of Maggie as sister and as a woman. Gaskell, with her light and clear narrative style, criticises the society of her time, the ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: england, classic, novella
The beginning of this novella did not grab me at all but the ending turned out fine. At first, I was rather discouraged by Maggie’s character which, I thought, was rather bland when compared to Margaret Hale from North & South. When conflict arrived, I was afraid of the choice she’d make but I needn’t have worried at all. In fact, it was probably the only time for me that her character shone through. Despite being looked as an angel and everything good by all around her (this also did not ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Moorland Cottage, whilst not reaching the same heights as Mrs Gaskell’s novels, is a sweet tale nonetheless - well written, heartwarming, appealing and showcasing the many talents so clearly displayed in her longer works.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gosh I enjoyed this more than I had expected I would partly because it was my first Gaskell. Definitely getting my hands on her other works!
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book which makes me want to read more of Elizabeth Gaskell's work.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
A standard story of the time. I like that Gaskell puts emphasis on spiritual decisions, and her heroines are motivated in that way.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
What a perfect book to snuggle up with this rainy Saturday. I couldn't help but feel such an overwhelming longing for Maggie to be happy. Her brother and mother have treated her as indispensable, the one who should cater to their every whim. Why the mother dotes on Edward I can't understand. He's selfish. As they grow up, Maggie recognizes this too about her brother but when her chance for true love is potentially damaged by her brothers greedy ambition, what will she do? Gaskell proves again ...more
While listening I recognized names and story from the second season of Cranford, the Buxtons and Bells storyline. Some of the names are circumstances were changed (Brown To Bell, perhaps because there were already Browns in Cranford, and Frank to William), and the storyline shortened, but it clearly inspired that additional story for the Return to Cranford. The ending also reminded me of the ending of Mary Barton.
I can see that the heroine might be a little too sweet and good, she puts up with
This is a reconstruction of my original review which was lost the day before yesterday when the power went out just as I was typing the final sentence (aarrgh! that's twice that's happened now).

I wanted to enjoy this but found it kind of meh. The sexism of the beginning when Maggie and Edward are children made it difficult to read. There were a couple of times Gaskell sets up an expected motif and then surprises (e.g. we expect Ed will get the agent’s job and then take trusting Mr Buxton for
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jenny by: Katherine Cox
Shelves: england is hosting a group read of this book. Luckily my copy arrived on day one and I was able to read chapter one and then read all the blog entries related to chapter one.

Here's the schedule:
Day One – Feb. 1st
Ch. 1

Day Two – Feb. 3rd
Ch. 2
Ch. 3

Day Three – Feb. 6th
Ch. 4
Ch. 5

Day Four – Feb. 9th
Ch. 6
Ch. 7

Day Five – Feb. 12th
Ch. 8
Ch. 9

Day Six – Feb. 15th
Ch. 10
Ch. 11

I ended up reading ahead. I read at the group read pace until Day Five. I ended up reading Day Five
Phil Syphe
This novella was first published in 1850. The story is set over a period of about 12 years.

It features two families, one of which lives in Moorland Cottage. The household consists of a widow, her young son and daughter, and an old servant. The late husband/father used to be friends with the more wealthy Mr Buxton, who lives with his invalid wife, his son, and his niece. Because of the former friendship with the widow's late husband, Mr Buxton occasionally visits the poorer family and invites
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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 ...more
“If I thought I could ever grow as hard and different to the abject entreaties of a criminal as my father has been this morning–one whom he has helped to make, too–I would go off to Australia at once. Indeed, Maggie, I think it would be the best thing we could do. My heart aches about the mysterious corruptions and evils of an old state of society such as we have in England.–What do you say Maggie? Would you go?” She was silent–thinking. “I would go with you directly, if it were right,” said she, at last. “But would it be? I think it would be rather cowardly. I feel what you say; but don’t you think it would be braver to stay, and endure much depression and anxiety of mind, for the sake of the good those always can do who see evils clearly. I am speaking all this time as if neither you nor I had any home duties, but were free to do as me liked.” “What can you or I do? We are less than drops in the ocean, as far as our influence can go to model a nation?” “As” 0 likes
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