First of all I would like to thank Jessica at Oxford University Press for being so kind and sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell centres on (official blurb): “Set in Manchester in the 1840s, Mary Barton depicts the effects of economic and physical hardship upon the city’s working-class community. Paralleling the novel’s treatment of the relationship between masters and men, the suffering of the poor, and the workmen’s angry response, is the story of Mary herself–a factory-worker’s daughter who attracts the attentions of the mill-owner’s son, who becomes caught up in the violence of class conflict when a brutal murder forces her to confront her true feelings and allegiances. This new edition reproduces the last edition of the novel supervised by Gaskell. The introduction provides historical and biographical context to the novel, a survey of critical responses to Mary Barton, and argues that Gaskell was chiefly concerned with the importance of communication as a means of healing breaches between people. In addition, the book contains an up-to-date critical biography, revised notes and appendixes that include Gaskell’s rough draft and outline of the novel’s conclusion.”
Have you ever read a book that you adored so much that you can’t seem to find the right words when it comes to talking about it. Well, that’s exactly how I feel about Mary Barton!
Mary Barton was my first pick for #Victober as well as a buddy read with Matt over on Insta. Not only am I so glad that this was my first pick for #Victober but I’m so glad I left this book for the autumnal months. It was the most perfect atmosphere for reading this book.
If you dare to injure her in the least, I will await you where no policeman can step in between. And God shall judge between us two.Mary Barton, Elizabeth Gaskell
The suspense, the atmosphere, the plot, the characters, I loved it all! The themes of working class vs upper class, capital vs labour are major points within this novel. It shows how the clash between capital and labour came to be. For example, during the mid-19th century with the rapid growth of industrialisation came problems of the trade. These problems can be seen even more through the personal struggles of the characters.
Believe me when I say you are in for one hell of an emotional rollercoaster with this novel.
I want to take a moment to express my love for one character in particular and that is Jem (James Wilson). Jem deserves the world, he is everything! I wanted to protect him at all costs. Elizabeth Gaskell did such a fantastic job when writing this character. He most definitely is a Gem! 😉
I don’t think I’ll ever find the right words to justify how much I loved this book.
the heart loved more than the head reasoned.Mary Barton, Elizabeth Gaskell
(Photo is my own please do not/take without permission first).