The Not-So-Hypothetical Victorian Literature Course #VicLit discussion

Mary Barton
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Lecture 3: The City > Mary Barton (spoilers)

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Katie Lumsden (Katie-BooksandThings) | 28 comments Mod
A place to discuss all your thoughts on Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton.

This is a place of spoilers. Beware.


Kevin Varney I really liked Mary Barton, but it did a handbrake turn in the middle. The first half had all the powerful political stuff. I thought the first half was more interesting than the second, but I thought the second half was good too. I wondered how realistic the trial was. These days it would be about year between arrest and trial, which would take days. I was surprised someone could be arrested, tried and hanged within a week. I did not think the reconciliation between John Barton and the factory owner was very plausible, however.


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