Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters

Book - 2003
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Baker & Taylor
A Victorian country gentleman's new marriage produces mixed reactions from family and close associates in his English village

Blackwell North Amer
A story of romance, scandal and intrigue within the confines of a watchful, gossiping English village during the early nineteenth century

When seventeen-year-old Molly Gibson's widowed father remarries, her life is turned upside down by the arrival of her vain, manipulative stepfather. She also acquires an intriguing new stepsister, Cynthia, glamorous, sophisticated and irresistible to every man she meets. The two girls begin to confide in one another and Molly soon finds herself a go-between in Cynthia's love affairs - but in doing so risks losing both her own reputation and the man she secretly loves. Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Elizabeth Gaskell's last novel - considered to be her finest - demonstrates an intelligent and compassionate understanding of human relationships, and offers a witty, ironic critique of mid-Victorian society.

This text is based on the 1866 Cornhill Magazine version of the novel. It also includes notes on textual variants between this edition and the original manuscript, a note on the story's ending and an introduction discussing the novel's challenging investigation of themes of Englishness, Darwinism and masculine authority.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Publisher: New York : Penguin, 2003
ISBN: 9780140434781
014043478X
Branch Call Number: PAPERBACK Classics Gas
Characteristics: xxxv, 679 p. ; 19 cm

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crankylibrarian Sep 30, 2011

Jane Austen fans: If you've ever wondered how the Bennett sisters' daughters might have turned out, you may find this interesting. Although written in 1866, it is set 30 years earlier, in a time when Austen's universe of landed gentry was undergoing serious challenges from industrialization, scientific discovery, and social mobility.All are themes in the novel, which centers around a brilliant Scottish physician who marries a dim-witted, self-absorbed ex governess and social climber. Dr Gibson is admired by the local gentry for his intellect and integrity, but his imprudent marriage has disastrous consequences for his daughter Molly,who is saddled with a highly unsuitable stepmother. However, Molly's love for her flighty stepsister Cynthia ultimately redeems them all, and her selfless devotion to the dilettetantish aristocrats, gruff landowners, and querulous maiden ladies in her neighborhood wins all hearts...especially that of Roger, the local squire's unexpectedly brilliant son.

Wives and Daughters will often remind you of other, better novels, (the tart relationship between Dr and Mrs Gibson echoes Mr. and Mrs Bennett, and the brooding, dissipated Osborne is pure Bronte), and I do wish Molly and Cynthia didn't weep quite so often.Yet I can't recall any other such novels where two of the heroes are men of science, or where the various social classes are presented with such clarity and overall sympathy. While not a great novel, the large well-drawn cast of characters and winning heroine makes this a worthwhile read.

k
KarenW
Jan 26, 2005

Poor Molly Gibson! Not only has she been motherless since she was young girl, she is easily put upon by firends and neighbours to help out. However her good nature is at war with what she really fells about things. When her father announces his impending marriage to a woman Molly dislikes intensely, and the new step mother has a very flirty daughter, Molly''s life becomes very complicated. Soon the new sister is engaged to someone who Molly loves very deeply, and the whole town will be turned upside down with scandal and secrets. How Molly shines through and changes into a most wonderful young woman is up to the reader to discover! A delightful read that has been turned into a scrumptious video presentation produced by Sue Birtwistle, no less!

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Zoe100 Aug 24, 2011

Zoe100 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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loria1121
Dec 20, 2014

I would much rather have two or three lilies of the valley picked by someone I liked than the most expensive bouquet that can be bought.

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