The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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2018/19 Group Reads - Archives > Mary Barton - Reading Schedule

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message 1: by Candace (new)

Candace (cprimackqcom) | 138 comments Mary Barton
Reading Schedule

July 1 to July 7, Chapters 1 - 6

July 8 to July 14, Chapters 7 - 11

July 15 to July 21, Chapters 12 - 18

July 22 to July 28, Chapters 19 - 25

July 29 to August 4, Chapters 26 - 34

August 5 to 11, Chapters 35 - 38


message 2: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2939 comments Mod
Thank you, Candace. I plan on reading this book with our group.


message 3: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4497 comments Mod
Please note moderator will be using penguin classics edition


message 4: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2227 comments Mod
This is my least favorite of Gaskell's, so I don't think I'll reread but might chime in. I found it more preachy than her other books, but it's also earlier.


message 5: by Candace (new)

Candace (cprimackqcom) | 138 comments This is Gaskell’s first book.

Gaskell’s faith was very important to her. She was the wife of an asst. minister and her Unitarian faith was a huge influence in her life. Gaskell struggled with whether writing a fiction book was okay due to the lingering beliefs of the 17th century (Remember The Female Quixote readers?) that novels were frivolous and corrupting. “By using her art as the vehicle for her belief, writing became a religious exercise and therefore ‘permissible.’” Intro viii

However, in the Intro, ii, Daly explains that Gaskell has alerted us to the conflict and her goal is to make her readers do something about the problem. So while it is a “conversion” novel, it is also so much more. We can talk about what type of novel you think it is and the themes you see as important beginning on July 1.


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  Jacobson | 4 comments I planned to pick up North and South in a week or two, but I just stumbled across this group and now I’m thinking maybe Mary B is the way to go. It’s on my shelf....


message 7: by Madge UK (last edited Jun 22, 2018 01:00AM) (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2933 comments Mary Barton, published in 1848, is one of the most influential British novels about the effects of the Industrial Revolution upon the working classes and the way they tried to combat its ill effects through trade unionism and Chartism, which called for universal suffrage for men. Gaskell saw the world through the prism of the kind of Christianity which believed 'you are your brother's keeper' and that the wealthy had a duty to look after the poor. Hers was an early socialism influenced by her friend, the author Charles Kingsley, founder of the Christian Socialist movement:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Chri...

Gaskell may also have heard of Frederic Engels' The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845) about the poor working conditions in the Manchester factories his father owned. In 1848 Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx. These were political theories about the more equitable sharing of wealth ('capital') being discussed by educated people of the day which were more akin to Thomas More's idealised Utopia than the discredited communist regimes of the 20thC.


message 8: by Trev (new)

Trev | 354 comments The house that Elizabeth Gaskell lived in for most of her writing life has been fully renovated and is now open to the public. It is situated in Plymouth Grove, Manchester, England and is maintained by an historical trust. The website (link below) contains lots of background information about the family and the area of Manchester where she lived. Although Mary Barton was published two years before she moved to Plymouth Grove, the house is not too far away from where most of the 'Manchester Life' took place in the novel. I hope to be revisiting the house during the Mary Barton read to drink in the atmosphere and examine the artefacts relevant to the story.

http://elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk


message 9: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2933 comments Thanks for that info Trev. I envy you that visit for alas! such jaunts are no longer possible for me.


message 10: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1933 comments Mod
I'm planning to join as well. Thanks for the information, Madge and Trev. I now have a niece living in Manchester so must plan a visit sometime and visit the house (and the city).


message 11: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4497 comments Mod
Posts 5, 7, and 8 should be in background info thread. Since I’m on my iPad, I can’t copy them and post them correctly. Can either the poster or a mod please do do? Thanks


message 12: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1933 comments Mod
Well, I've enjoyed this so much I just powered through to the end (I was also getting confused with too many books on the go). Thanks for nominating this Candace-I would never have read it on my own and loved it-must go back and check out which Gaskell novels I haven't read yet.


message 13: by Candace (new)

Candace (cprimackqcom) | 138 comments Thanks Frances. I really enjoyed it also.


message 14: by Eugenio (new)

Eugenio Negro Ahhh I read this last summer! Can someone point me to the discussion group?


message 15: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2939 comments Mod
We have the threads under the heading Mary Barton. There you will find the Reading Schedule and the discussion threads for those specific sections of the book referred to in the reading schedule.
Hope this helps.


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The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910

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Mary Barton (other topics)
The Female Quixote (other topics)