Mary barton is a wonderful failure of a novel in all of the classic victorian ways the love plot is overwrought the ending is melodramatic the moralizing is far too heavy and the epigraphs are obnoxious but somehow in the middle of all those problems elizabeth gaskell manages to capture perfectly something important mary barton is a condition of england novel a meditation on the . Mary barton begins in the fields outside manchester where two families meet after enjoying a holiday george and jane wilson carry their twin babies while john barton accompanies his heavily pregnant wife mary their 13 year old daughter also named mary plays nearby wilson and barton invite . Mary barton penguin classics elizabeth gaskell macdonald daly on amazoncom free shipping on qualifying offers o jem her father wont listen to me and its you must save mary youre like a brother to her mary barton. The 1848 title page of mary barton did not divulge the identity of the author it was a common enough practice and had been popularised early in the century by walter scott the great unknown the lengthy quotation on the title page of the book is from thomas carlyle the most authoritative sage of the age it comes from his 1832 essay on scott in which he grudgingly conceded
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