Saturday, 20 November 2010

Wives and Daughters

And she had found her way into the library, and used to undo the heavy bars of the shutters if the housemaid had forgotten this duty, and mount the ladder sitting on the steps for an hour at a time, deep in some book of the old English classics. The summer days were very short to this happy girl of seventeen.

Nothing like having a reading plan and then immediately deviating from it. I initially wanted to read Elizabeth Gaskells's Wives and Daughters because she mentions Maria Edgeworth, but I've got completely absorbed in the story and can't put it down. I've also been inspired by Elaine's post on Vic Lit (love that phrase) Girlebooks review of Wives and Daughters and several of your comments recommending Gaskell.

Back soon - gotta book to read!

18 comments:

Audrey said...

This kind of deviation happens to me all the time (but I will read Persuasion soon, I will! I mean it!!)...and I'm usually very happy when it does. I loved Cranford and am looking forward to reading more of EG's work.

Mystica said...

A new title for me - thanks for the review.

Frisbee said...

I love this book and love the cover of this one. (Mine isn't nearly as pretty.)

aworldinthemselves said...

I love your blog! It's so stylish and beautiful. Someday I'd love to read Gaskell.

Anna said...

Good choice! It's my favourite Elizabeth Gaskell novel. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

irisonbooks said...

Gaskell is a must-read I think for any Austen lover (but then I am a Gaskell lover as well ;)). I think Wives and Daughters might come closest to the work of Austen, but I do love North and South as well.

Karenlibrarian said...

I loved this book (sighs blissfully). It's long, but so absorbing. I found it a very quick read for a Victorian. And do not miss the BBC adapation, if you haven't seen it already! It's wonderful.

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

So happy to hear you're enjoying it! Wives and Daughters is certainly my favourite Gaskell. I think I'd love it even more if I had the same lovely edition as you!

Shelley said...

This post was a tipping point for me--thanks! I'd been thinking about Gaskell and now will definitely try it.

Trollope's Palliser novels, with the very interesting marriage of Lady Glencora and Plantagenet, are also a delight, if you're ever pining, as I do, over the fact that Austen left us with so few books.

Carolyn said...

So glad you're enjoying Elizabeth Gaskell, I've read 3 of her books this year (Wives & Daughters, Cranford and North & South) and so enjoyed all of them.

bookssnob said...

I haven't read any Gaskell since university but now I think I must! That new Vintage edition is beautiful!

I am always making plans and getting sidetracked. One book often leads to another and before you know it, you're down a path you never knew you wanted to travel!

potter jotter said...

Your first paragraph sounds like me at seventeen - except no ladder! My fave Gaskell is North and South, but found the pages of dialect dialogue a bit hard going.

LifetimeReader said...

What a wonderful cover! I'm a huge fan of the BBC adaptation but have not read the book yet. Sounds like a wonderful book to pack for the holidays!

Anonymous said...

This is being dramatised on Womans Hour on R4 all next week. Should be good!

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I've not read Wives and Daughters before -- looking forward to your review. I've been a bit wrapped up in Daphne du Maurier and Edith Wharton of late.

Lilacs In May said...

Love Gaskell, North and South is my favourite. Not read try Wives and Daughters, will add to my list. Just finished a reread of Wuthering Heights.

Vintage Reading said...

Audrey - reading plans are made to be broken! I'm fond of Cranford too, it's her humour I like.

Thanks Mystica!

Frisbee, I've been browsing the Random Vintage editions websites - beautiful covers. I know you like Eliot and the Middlemarch and TMOTF covers are lovely. Like the red spines, too.

aworldinthemselves, thanks and welcome!!

Anna, I can't believe I've not read this novel before now!

Iris, yes I can detect an Austen influence. I think I need to read her industrial novels, too.

Karen, not seen the BBC adaption, but I'd like to. I envy you your profession, by the way!!

Claire, the Random Vintage editions are stunning - I'm going to have to collect a few more.

Shelly, WaD is immensely readable. Sometimes the length of Victorian novels daunts me, but I only wish WaD was longer. (Gaskell died before it was finished) I will check out Trollope.

Carolyn, I'm very fond of Cranford and I think I'll read North and South next as it is recommended by you and iris.

booksnob, yes I advocate flexibility in reading and allowing one book to lead to another. I keep browsing the Random Vintage website. Lovely covers!

potter jotter, yes I recognised myself as the bookworm in that paragraph. Another vote for North and South going on my tbr list.

Lifetime reader, I do think Victorian novels are perfect for the Christmas season. Just seem to lend themselves to long winter nights.

Anonymous, darn I missed it! I'll check out the radio4 website.

Coffee and Book Chick - I'll forgive you not yet reading W&D. Du Maurier and Wharton are very worthy distractions!

Lilacs in May - I love WH, too. In fact I like the scenes where Nelly makes the Christmas cake and her domesticity - very seasonal!

Krispie said...

There are not that many Elizabeth Gaskell fans that I know of..