Mary Barton was published in 1848, at a time of great social ferment in Europe, and it reflects its revolutionary moment through an English lens. Elizabeth Gaskell wrote her first novel about the world in which she lived - Manchester at the height of the industrial revolution. As the wife of a Unitarian minister she was solidly middle-class; but she also had close contact with the working classes around her, sympathised with them, and represented their extreme distresses in her fiction. She is radical in taking on their dialect, imagining the realities of their lives, and placing a working woman at the centre of her fiction. If to our eyes her vision remains limited, it was an honest vision, for which she was much criticised in her own time, by her own class.
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 278 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 23 mm
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