Sunday, 28 November 2010

More Elizabeth Gaskell

My photos may give the impression that I spend all my time sitting in Costa* reading, but I have a family and work Mon-Thurs. Friday is my day off and that is the day I like to lounge around reading, then saunter into town and browse the bookshops and sit in a coffee shop and read a bit more before the onset of the weekend.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I still haven't finished the 600+ pages of Wives and Daughters. I'm about half-way through and I can understand why Charles Dickens referred to Elizabeth Gaskell as a 'bewitching Scheherazade'. I've also borrowed Jenny Uglow's biography of Gaskell from the library. Not to read cover to cover as I prefer to read fiction but I want to dip into it and discover a little more about her life.

* ... and Costa needs to watch out! Anymore "Would I like a muffin with that or how about a Costa loyalty card?" and I may take my considerable coffee drinking capacity elsewhere!

17 comments:

Anna said...

I've been meaning to read that biography for ages, but I've had a hard time finding it. Do let us know how you like it.

Eva said...

That biography has a lovely cover! I read three of Gaskell's books last year (and watched three miniseries, lol), and Cranford was my favourite. I definitely want to read Wives and Daughters next year!

Teresa said...

I've heard good things about that biography. I seem to me getting near the end of Gaskell's full-length novels as I only have Wives and Daughters and Sylvia's Daughters left. I think my favorite is North and South, but I'd have to give Ruth a reread to know for sure. I read Ruth in college, and it's the book that go me into Gaskell, but I can't really say now how it compares to the others.

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I must admit -- something about a book cover can sometimes determine whether I read a book or not. The cover of this one sort of reminds me of Tracy Chevalier's books, so combined with the lovely overview of Wives and Daughters the other day, I'm a bit hooked to read your thoughts on it all. Love to have a day off as well and bustle about a book and coffee shop. Sigh. Sounds blissful.

Script writing Books said...

I am also working my through "Wives and Daughters" and I love it. It feels like such a comfort read. Plus I just adore Molly! Thanks for your post and I love your site! :)

Audrey said...

Doesn't that drive you crazy? Whenever someone in a store asks me 'Is that everything?' I want to say 'No, I need other stuff, but I'm going to buy it somewhere else...' :)

lyn said...

Jenny Uglow's biography is wonderful, I hope you enjoy dipping into it. Elizabeth Gaskell was one of the few famous Victorian women writers who had her career & married & had children. Such an interesting woman. I would love to reread W&D, it's been many years since I read it. Maybe 2011 will be the year I reread some Gaskell?

bookssnob said...

I'm looking forward to your Gaskell related thoughts!

Costa is miles better than Starbucks and their lukewarm, depressingly mediocre drinks. I have no idea why people frequent it so often!

makedoandread said...

I've never heard that quote before, but it's so true. I find it impossible to put down her books and end up reading far, far into the night.

I'm not sure if you know this already, but BBC's Radio 4 has just started airing an adaptation of 'Wives and Daughters' this week.

Penny said...

Your Fridays sound pretty idyllic! :o)
I love Wives and Daughters and must re-read it soon. Elizabeth Gaskell is one of my literary and personal heroines...

Grad said...

This is one of those books I've picked up and then put down at the bookstore, never sure about what I should purchase with my small book budget. I'll be very interested to read your full review.

potterjotter said...

OK, that's it ... I'm gonna read 'Wives and Daughters' over the Christmas break - decided!

LifetimeReader said...

Ooh, I did not even know about that biography. What do you think of it?

Shelley said...

No, your photos give the impression that you bring as much richness to your family life as you do to your website.

Vintage Reading said...

Anna - I'm just dipping into it, but Uglow writes about Gaskell very well.

Eva, I love paintings on book covers. I'm a huge fan of Cranford, too.

Teresa, you've read much more Gaskell than I have! I think North and South may be going on my Christmas list!

Coffee and a Book chick, I'm influenced by the covers of books, too. Probably shouldn't be but I do like books that are aesthetically pleasing.

Script writing books, thanks for stopping by. Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed W&D. Especially all the little domestic details!

Audrey, I'm going to try that line!!

Lyn, I'm impressed with what I've read in the Gaskell biog so far. Yes, Gaskell had a family life and wrote novels, which is remarkable for a Victorian woman novelist.

Booksnob, we don't have a Starbucks, nearby, so I don't think I've tried one. I do like Costa but I wish they'd lay off the aggresive marketing.

makedoandread, yes I stayed up far too late to finish W&D. Gaskell draws you in. Disappointed with the adaption. Not the adaption itself but the voices!

Penny, I came to Gaskell late, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I'm learning so much about her from the comments here!

Grad, I hope you decide to try it. It's a long novel but a wonderful read. Do you like George Eliot? W&D reminds me a little of Eliot.

potterjotter, sounds like a plan to me! Nothing like some vic lit, midwinter!

LifetimeReader, I'm just dipping into it, because I'm more of a novel reader than a non-fic reader but it's very good.

Shelley, I do enjoy posting photos on my blog, but I am aware that it is presenting a more ideal home life than is the reality. Perhaps I should photograph coffee stained tables and cushions covered in cat hair!

Becca said...

I've got a copy of Wives and Daughters waiting patiently for me, but it's not nearly as pretty as yours! I picked it up after watching the Cranford miniseries on our public television, but have yet to be in the mood for reading it.

The only Gaskell I've read is her biography of Charlotte Bronte. Must remedy that. If only there were more time...

Katherine Cox said...

I just started reading Uglow's biography of Gaskell a few days ago and I love the way it's written.