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Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Wives and Daughters (1865)

by Elizabeth Gaskell

Other authors: Frederick Greenwood (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,367502,629 (4.16)232
  1. 70
    Persuasion by Jane Austen (Shuffy2)
    Shuffy2: In addition to North and South by Gaskell, Wives and Daughters is another great read for people who love Austen's Persusion and Sense and Sensibility!
  2. 70
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Cecilturtle)
  3. 30
    Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope (wisewoman)
    wisewoman: Trollope's Mary Thorne and Gaskell's Molly Gibson have much in common: both their father-figures are country doctors with connections to the local nobility, both fall in love with a man above them in station and wealth, both face undeserved public shame in their social circles, and both are sensible, intelligent heroines.… (more)
  4. 20
    Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (Siliverien)
  5. 10
    The Victorian House by Judith Flanders (susanbooks)
  6. 00
    Middlemarch by George Eliot (christiguc, Hollerama)

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» See also 232 mentions

English (48)  Spanish (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
For the most part I enjoyed the characters in this book, especially Molly and Roger. The stepmother and stepdaughter were morally bankrupt, insipid characters and Molly had a lot of forbearance in dealing with them. I also like Gaskell's writing style. It is eloquent and draws the reader into the story.

What ruined the book for me was the lack of ending. I was hesitant to read the book because I knew that Gaskell didn't finish it. But from the other reviews I read, many readers said that they still enjoyed the book. It was disappointing to read such a long book and come to an unsatisfactory ending. ( )
  magistrab | Apr 17, 2014 |
Well, well, well. I've added Elizabeth Gaskell to the list as one of my favorite authors. This is the first book I've read by her, and I would highly recommend it. Her other books are going on my To Be Read List immediately.

Wives and Daughters tells the quaint story of a widower who decides that since his daughter, Molly, is growing into a young lady, she needs a mother. He marries widow Hyacinth Clare who has a daughter of her own. That's where things get messy. This is the story of the two families melding together....sort of. There's very rich characterization in this novel. The new mother is distasteful, but not hated. The step-sisters get along great. All the characters have warts, some more than others. I won't tell more of the plot because you must read it.

The author died before she finished the novel. But at 800 pages, she was nearly finished, and you really do know how the story ends. She characterizes small town England in the early 1800's, and in this sweeping saga, we have the pleasure of meeting lords and ladies, town gossips, the tenant farmers, the town doctor and his apprentices, and of course our dear Molly.

"It will be very dull when I shall have killed myself, as it were, and live only in trying to do, and to be as other people like. I don't see any end to it. I might as well never have lived."

"I should hate to be managed," said Molly, indignantly. "I'll try and do what she wishes for papa's sake, if she'll only tell me outright; but I should dislike to be trapped into anything." ( )
1 vote heidip | Apr 1, 2014 |
Very satisfying, though a bit too [b:Mansfield Park|45032|Mansfield Park|Jane Austen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1212682312s/45032.jpg|2722329]-ish for me to really be head over heels. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
The movie is so much better.

The younger brother is such an undeserving hero (as written in the book). The older brother is written as such a selfish man. The ending in the book was horrible. All in all Elizabeth Gaskell has some great plots (I love the movie versions of both W&Ds and N&S) but is terrible at writing the actual story. Her characters are always so unlikeable and she has no skill at resolving a romance. ( )
  alsocass | Oct 12, 2013 |
This is the work that got me hooked on Elizabeth Gaskell and wish that she was as well received and remembered as Austin or the Brontes. Indeed, this work feels almost like a cross between the two types of authors, which is to say that Wives and Daughters may be limited to the gentry class of the 1800s, but is more realistic in the characterization and scenes than Austin, yet more upbeat and funnier than most of the Brontes.

The A&E adaptation does an excellent job and the special features are quite informative about the author and her time period, for those that don't know her that well.
  VeritysVeranda | Sep 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Gaskellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greenwood, FrederickAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alou, DamiánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arping, ÅsaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arping, ÅsaPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bailey, JosephineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kwiatkowska, KatarzynaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maurier, George DuIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morris, PamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ott, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reinhard-Stocker, AliceAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scales, PrunellaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sundström, Gun-BrittTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vierne, BéatriceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood.
The answer was silly enough, logically; but forcible in fact. Cynthia was Cynthia, and not Venus herself could have been her substitute. In this one thing Mr. Preston was more really true than many worthy men, who, seeking to be married, turn with careless facility from the unattainable to the attainable, and keep their feelings and fancy tolerably loose till they find a woman who consents to be their wife. But no one would ever be to Mr. Preston what Cynthia had been, and was; and yet he could have stabbed her in certain of his moods.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014043478X, Paperback)

Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new step-sister enters Molly's quiet life – loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

Wives and Daughters is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life; it offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society. 'No nineteenth-century novel contains a more devastating rejection than this of the Victorian male assumption of moral authority', writes Pam Morris in her introduction to this new edition, in which she explores the novel's main themes – the role of women, Darwinism and the concept of Englishness – and its literary and social context.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:30 -0400)

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A Victorian country gentleman's new marriage produces mixed reactions from family and close associates in his English village.

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

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Penguin Australia

Three editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014043478X, 0141039396, 014138946X

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