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Archived Group Reads 2009-10 > Elizabeth Gaskell

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message 1: by Silver (new)

Silver Addressing something which came up in our previous discussion of The Moonstone I have set up this thread for members to discuss Gaskell in general, as well as to bring up any other works of hers to compare and contrast with the our current group read North and South.

Please be aware that spoilers for other works of Gaskell may be posted here, but please do not post any detailed dicussion or spoilers for the group read North and South in this thread.


message 2: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 495 comments I've read almost everything of this wtiter and I love her exidingly.
The books I've prefered, a part from North and South are Wives and Daughters and Mary Barton.
Cranford is not one of my favourite, even if it is generally considered one of her best ...


message 3: by Silver (new)

Silver This is my first time reading a novel by her, I read one of her short stories which I quite enjoyed. So far I am enjoying my reading of North and South and really like her writing style.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I love Elizabeth Gaskell and sorry I can't join in the group read - it would be fun.

I think her friendship with Charlotte Bronte is interesting and I would like to read more about it. Her bio on Bronte looks interesting.


message 5: by Kate (new)

Kate (kateduttera) | 13 comments I'm excited to learn more about her, I loved the BBC mini-series of North and South, so I've been wanting to read it for a while. She was friends with Charlotte B? That's so neat! I'll have to do some digging on her bio.


message 6: by Amalie (new)

Amalie I'm also new to Elizabeth Gaskell, so far it's only North and South and Wives and Daughters. Yes, She was a friend of Charlotte Bronte and wrote the biography of Charlotte.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Katie wrote: "I'm excited to learn more about her, I loved the BBC mini-series of North and South, so I've been wanting to read it for a while. She was friends with Charlotte B? That's so neat! I'll have to do s..."

Whatever you find out, Katie, please do post it. We would all like to learn more about this talented author. Thank you!


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Amalie wrote: "I'm also new to Elizabeth Gaskell, so far it's only North and South and Wives and Daughters. Yes, She was a friend of Charlotte Bronte and wrote the biography of Charlotte."

I am new as well, Amalie. I do so like her style and the way she makes the characters extremely memorable.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Here's the biography:
The Life of Charlotte Brontë


And another fan of the N&S miniseries here. It wasn't just Richard Armitage as John Thornton, although he was perfect, but the whole cast, the amazing set for the factory. It's my favourite sort of period drama - out of the drawing-room and showing the diversity and the mixtures of class in Victorian life. I'd love the BBC to adapt Mary Barton too, which I read a couple of years ago and enjoyed.

Has anyone read Ruth by Gaskell? It's the weak link imo.


message 10: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments Silver wrote: "This is my first time reading a novel by her, I read one of her short stories which I quite enjoyed. So far I am enjoying my reading of North and South and really like her writing style."

Which short story was that Silver, can you recall?


message 11: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments Lauren wrote: "Here's the biography:
The Life of Charlotte Brontë


And another fan of the N&S miniseries here. It wasn't just Richard Armitage as John Thornton, although he was perfect, but the..."


Yeh, I read Ruth some years back. It's very good about a seduced seamstess cast aside by her employers son after a dalliance in Wales - or something to that effect. Ground-breaking stuff at the time of original publication making an unmsarried pregnant girl the heroine of a novel. Gaskell was a champion of civil rights and really ought to be more widely celebrated for her modest subtle achievements as much for her utterly charming and absorbing highly satirical and ironic social satire. I'm sure that old rogue Charles Dickens learned much from her :o)


message 12: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments The expectant grand-mother is a right unfeeling mare lol


message 13: by Silver (new)

Silver Malcolm wrote: Which short story was that Silver, can you recall?
..."


Apperently none! hahaha, I am such a dork. I thought I had read a story by her, but I got her confused with someone else becasue they had very simillar last names.

So North and South is the first thing I have ever read by Gaskell.


message 14: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I read Cranford after seeing the video, this is worth reading.


message 15: by Amalie (new)

Amalie Hi Robin! It's good to see you, I'm glad you are here, join in for discussion if you already haven't:)


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I was inspired to rewatch the BBC adaptation last night. It really is a very faithful yet fresh take on the book. I think both Margaret and Thornton were well cast.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Malcolm wrote: "Lauren wrote: "Here's the biography:
The Life of Charlotte Brontë


And another fan of the N&S miniseries here. It wasn't just Richard Armitage as John Thornton, although he was p..."


They were acquainted, weren't they - didn't her novels appear in installments in Household Words?


message 18: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I also enjoyed Cranford, and Back to Cranford, I viewed the BBC videos, and that is what got me hooked on reading Elizabeth Gaskell, she also did a good job of Charlotte Bronte's autobiography. They should adapt much more of her books to films, and I think that would get more people reading her books. I also loved reading Cranford.


message 19: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments Lauren wrote: "Malcolm wrote: "Lauren wrote: "Here's the biography:
The Life of Charlotte Brontë


And another fan of the N&S miniseries here. It wasn't just Richard Armitage as John Thornton, a..."


Yes


message 20: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments I liked and enjoyed the telly series Cranford, but not as much as the original works they were based upon. I was really upset that Captain Brown didn't get killed off the way he had done in the book, which was a really powerful part of the early chapters ( it made me cry lol) :o)


message 21: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I did also, I guess they wanted to show one man who survived the female town of Cranford, and also the brother who went to India. Why does Gaskell portray brothers as neer do wells, even in North and South the son was briefly mentioned, and they are considered footnotes in the stories. I would have liked to have seen the brother come back, such as the one in Cranford, who did eventually return, and is in the Return to Cranford series.


message 22: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments Well, Cranford primarily was concerned with women and a town "ruled" by women so the male characters were always going to be relative pygmies compared to the "Amazonian" Cranford ladies.

Apparently the Cranford Papers were based upon her life in Knutsford. The appeared sporadically, I think.

As for why she treats brothers/sons as ne'er do wells, I can only speculate. A woman's perogative perhaps to counter all the male characterisations of women as scheming bitches?

What's your opinion on the matter you raised?


message 23: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments North And South was originally called Margaret Hale. Her publisher changed it's name for its publication in book form. The main theme of the story is rebellion. Frederick Hale is said to have led a naval mutiny. It is merely the knowledge that is considered a rebel is important. He is really a side issue consigned to the sidelines of the story.

Im sure if she deemed it relevent and important she would've included him more.


message 24: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) It just seems that in both North and South and Cranford and to some extent Wives and Daughters the sons are not shown in any favorable light. In Cranford there was a doctor and the rector who stood out more, but no character besides Capt. Brown who showed the male characteristic that is s needed in these period pieces, besides Bessie's father that is. This factor was just something that I was thinking about, and wanted some sort of explanation on why this is, since I have read in other postings. Thanks for the input, Malcolm.


message 25: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1418 comments Stick with our discussion of North and South, Robin, and we will be looking at John Thornton even more. Your comment seems a good thing to look at post-discussion and we might make more of a comparison of the books then. We can even create an individual thread then-- and that way we will avoid spoilers to our North and South discussion. How does that sound?


message 26: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) okay by me.


message 27: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments Robin wrote: "It just seems that in both North and South and Cranford and to some extent Wives and Daughters the sons are not shown in any favorable light. In Cranford there was a doctor and the rector who stoo..."

Perhaps you missed the whole point of her series The Cranford Papers? The opening paragraph quite clearly indicates that the stories concerns themselves mostly with women's concerns and issues. The men are mere incidentals. Perhaps her editor wanted her to produce something primarily for his female readers? Do men have to stray into and intrude upon everything?


message 28: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments Robin wrote: "I also enjoyed Cranford, and Back to Cranford, I viewed the BBC videos, and that is what got me hooked on reading Elizabeth Gaskell, she also did a good job of Charlotte Bronte's autobiography. Th..."

I have for quite a while felt that the works of Elizabeth Gaskell have been long neglected by television and film producers. I rate her higher than either Dickens or Austen. Pleased that you also feel that her work has been overlooked by the televisual and cinematic media :o)


message 29: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Esquire (MalcolmEsq) | 344 comments Robin wrote: "okay by me."

Hi Robin, have you read much of Gaskell's works? Have you read any of her short stories/novellas? If so, which are your favourites?


message 30: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) She did the Charlotte Bronte Autobiography, I have seen the video Wives and Daughters, and have seen Cranford, return to Cranford. I haven't read any short stories or novellas. Have not seen any of the Lady Ludlow or the Doctor that Cranford series is based on. I tend to watch the videos and if I like it, then I am apt to read, or vice versa. I enjoy your comments on the other thread regarding North and South which I have not read yet. I guess there is an online version.


message 31: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I stand corrected, thanks. Biography instead of autobiography.


message 32: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesslie) Poor Robin.


message 33: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I was just toying with him, never you fear.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Got to keep people on their toes, right, Robin? ...see if they are paying attention. :)


message 35: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I know, it was still early in the morning for me, I didn't have my first cup of cocoa yet.


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