HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
Loading...

Mary Barton (original 1848; edition 2009)

by Elizabeth Gaskell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,758444,008 (3.68)1 / 167
Member:Luli81
Title:Mary Barton
Authors:Elizabeth Gaskell
Info:Digireads.com (2009), Paperback, 260 pages
Collections:Read in 2012, Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (1848)

  1. 10
    Emma by Jane Austen (kara.shamy)
    kara.shamy: In some ways the heroines in these two novels are alike, but they are very different in other respects, and more strikingly, their respective journeys to the altar/married life go in diametrically opposite ways, in a sense! Both are true classics in my estimation; reading these two novels exposes the reader to two of the greatest English-language novelists of all time in the height of their respective powers. While all readers and critics do not and will not share this superlative view, few would dispute these are two early female masters of the form and are well worth a read on that humbler basis ;) Enjoy!… (more)
  2. 00
    How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (charlie68)
    charlie68: Both novels portray clashes between management and workers and there sometimes tragic consequences.
  3. 00
    Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (kara.shamy)
  4. 00
    A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (charlie68)
    charlie68: The character's of John Barton and Ebenezer Scrooge compliment each other.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Mary Barton Elizabeth Gaskell
★★★

Set in a mill town in Manchester in the 1800's this is the story of Mary Barton the daughter of a union man whose mother died giving birth to a son who also died.

Gaskell highlights the differences between workers and masters how for one going without means no getting exactly what they want while for the other it means illness, starvation and death. How instead of working together the two groups antagonise each other to a dramatic climax.

Mary herself is an acknowledged beauty with an admirer from each social sphere, her ill advised flirtation with a mill owners son and later miscommunication inspired by friends trying to help almost leads to tragedy.

A moving insight into poverty in the 1800's and what makes it something more is the way Gaskell does not shy away from showing the unions and their actions in as negative a light as the mill owners.
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
I enjoyed this tale of industrial Manchester during the Victorian era. Mary Barton is from a poor family and this tells of her life, troubles, loves and day-to-day. Designed to make the reader think about workers' conditions and struggle for survival, Gaskell weaves a tale of hope in the face of despair. While there is an awful lot of fainting and crying, there is also a strong sense of generosity, love and friendship throughout this novel. I enjoyed it. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
An absorbing story about life in early Nineteenth-Century Manchester and the clash between working class and business owners, an era not much different from our own. Although the degrees of rich and poor is very different. ( )
  charlie68 | Dec 29, 2015 |
I was surprised to enjoy this book so much! Gaskell wrote a biography of Charlotte Bronte that has since been discredited (I have not read it yet), so I approached Mary Barton with some trepidation. I chose to read it because i am researching my next novel, which will be set in a similar time frame and locale.

Despite the age of the book, it was easy to read and get into the story. It's a powerful social commentary for the times, a story of haves and have nots that is relevant today...and yet which handles both sides fairly. Mary Barton is a wonderful heroine who must dig deeply to find the best in herself. There's plenty of anguish in this story, but it carries hopefulness and determination as well. ( )
  Nadine_Feldman | Aug 26, 2015 |
The story of Mary Barton, a poor apprentice seamstress, who flirts with a rich mill owner's son, Henry Carson. She is faithfully loved by foundry worker Jem Wilson and, when Henry is found shot, Jem is arrested for the murder.

This was a bit of a mess of a novel. The first third was unremitting misery: people starved to death, almost every one we are introduced to in the opening chapter died, other people lived in appalling conditions and nearly starved, the trades unions failed in their attempts to bring this to the notice of the mill owners and Parliament. Just when I was about to give up on the book as too depressing to continue with, it turned into a kind of murder-mystery adventure novel. Mary, who has never left Manchester before, travels to Liverpool, tracks a man down, including by chartering a boat to catch his ship just as it is leaving the docks, and various things happen just in the nick of time. (People do still keep dying, though). Then the last few chapters calm down a bit and turn quite religious and ponder forgiveness, how to die well and factory and mill industrial relations. In places I would have give this 4 stars, but then it disappointed me again.

The narrator frequently explains things to us as well as demonstrating them, which feels a bit heavy-handed, as though we could not have grasped what she meant otherwise. The whole Mary/Jem/Henry triangle worked for me, although both Jem and Mary were prone to excessive reactions to rejection, which they indulged for about five minutes, before going back to behaving quite sensibly. There were lots of good characters: Job, Margaret, Alice, and even the hateful Sally. Esther flitted in and out and the author clearly couldn't quite bring herself to write a redemption for her (so, of course, Esther died!) I found Mr Carson senior's abrupt change of heart at the end unconvincing, both in relation to John Barton and his new appreciation for better relations with his workers. This is a theme the author returned to in North and South and, while it seems an excellent point to me, in neither novel did I feel that the dawning realization on the part of the employer was convincingly demonstrated. ( )
  pgchuis | Sep 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Gaskellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Uglow, JennyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, EdgarEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
There are some fields near Manchester, well known to the inhabitants as "Green Heys Fields," through which runs a public footpath to a little village about two miles distant.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The story is set in the English city of Manchester during the 1830s and 1840s and deals heavily with the difficulties faced by the Victorian lower class.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014043464X, Paperback)

‘O Jem, her father won’t listen to me, and it’s you must save Mary! You’re like a brother to her’

Mary Barton, the daughter of disillusioned trade unionist, rejects her working-class lover Jem Wilson in the hope of marrying Henry Carson, the mill owner’s son, and making a better life for herself and her father. But when Henry is shot down in the street and Jem becomes the main suspect, Mary finds herself painfully torn between the two men. Through Mary’s dilemma, and the moving portrayal of her father, the embittered and courageous activist John Barton, Mary Barton (1848) powerfully dramatizes the class divides of the ‘hungry forties’ as personal tragedy. In its social and political setting, it looks towards Elizabeth Gaskell’s great novels of the industrial revolution, in particular North and South.

In his introduction Maconald Daly discusses Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel as a pioneering book that made public the great division between rich and poor – a theme that inspired much of her finest work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:38 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Mary Barton, the daughter of disillusioned trade unionist, rejects her working-class lover Jem Wilson in the hope of marrying Henry Carson, the mill owner's son, and making a better life for herself and her father. But when Henry is shot down in the street and Jem becomes the main suspect, Mary finds herself painfully torn between the two men. Through Mary's dilemma, and the moving portrayal of her father, the embittered and courageous activist John Barton, Mary Barton (1848) powerfully dramatizes the class divides of the 'hungry forties' as personal tragedy. In its social and political setting, it looks towards Elizabeth Gaskell's great novels of the industrial revolution, in particular North and South.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5
1 6
1.5
2 14
2.5 7
3 65
3.5 25
4 118
4.5 11
5 37

Audible.com

7 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014043464X, 0141039388, 0141199725

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,078,483 books! | Top bar: Always visible