Read Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories by Jenny Uglow Online

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Elizabeth Gaskell won fame and notoriety as the author of "Mary Barton Ruth" and "The Life of Charlotte Bronte". This biography looks at Elizabeth's life and work. Standing as a figure caught up in the religious and political radicalism of mid-19th-century Britain, the book looks at how Elizabeth observed, from her Manchester home, the brutal but transforming impact of indElizabeth Gaskell won fame and notoriety as the author of "Mary Barton Ruth" and "The Life of Charlotte Bronte". This biography looks at Elizabeth's life and work. Standing as a figure caught up in the religious and political radicalism of mid-19th-century Britain, the book looks at how Elizabeth observed, from her Manchester home, the brutal but transforming impact of industry, enjoying a social and family life, but distracted by her need to write down the truth of what she saw....

Title : Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories
Author :
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ISBN : 9780374147518
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 690 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories Reviews

  • SarahC
    2018-09-19 15:02

    Biography at its best. Captivating portrait of the talented Elizabeth Gaskell. I am so into her and this lovely biography these days. If you have not read either, please do. Thanks again to the friend who sent this to me - a lovely surprise and a fine read.

  • Sharon
    2018-08-31 20:00

    Jenny Uglow's biography of Elizabeth Gaskell is thoroughly comprehensive. To me, this actually feels like two books in one: a detailed account of Gaskell's life vividly recreated through first hand accounts and letters, as well as critical analyses of each of Gaskell's books. I would have preferred the two to have been separated. This is a very dense volume.Nobody knows Elizabeth Gaskell better than Jenny Uglow. Unfortunately, that fact sometimes feels detrimental in the telling of Gaskell's life story. There is a great deal of minutiae within the pages of this book and it didn't take long for me to start skimming through accounts of every individual Gaskell visited with, what they ate, how they spent every minute of their days, etc. While I think such details can be illustrative, I'm not sure they need to form the majority of the book's biographical sections. For me, a better approach would have been for Uglow to have sifted through the details rather than including them. It is hard to get a clear picture of Elizabeth Gaskell through such thick and numerous examplesSimilarly, the critique portions of the book rely heavily on quotations from Gaskell's books as well as complete summaries of each. It seems to me that Uglow could have assumed a familiarity with Gaskell's work in the readers of her biography, and proceeded from there. She does a fine job of placing each novel within the context of time, place, and history (both personal and cultural), which is very useful. Her interpretations are sometimes obvious, sometimes unexpected, but always illuminating. However, I did find it a little jarring to interrupt the flow of Gaskell's life story with full chapters analyzing each of her books.Overall, this is an interesting and insightful biography of a woman who managed to pursue her passion while maintaining her position as a wife and mother in Victorian England. I think Elizabeth as an individual could have been portrayed more clearly by eliminating so much of the excessive detail throughout, but I commend Uglow for her knowledge of and commitment to her subject.

  • Claire
    2018-09-24 18:37

    It took a little while for me to fully get into this book, perhaps in part because its been a while since I read anything so academic (e.g. it has footnotes) which is not in itself a bad thing, in fact it took me back to my University days in some ways! But perhaps I found it a little hard work at first simply due to all the names and connections of both family and friends mentioned (I think a family tree along with the footnotes would have been very useful). Still I found it a very interesting read, especially fascinating to find that Elizabeth had been great friends with Charlotte Bronte! Overall very enjoyable and it makes me want to read more of her novels (I confess only to have read Mary Barton -and that was a long time ago).

  • Celia Kaltenbach-crotteau
    2018-09-07 16:38

    A previous reviewer mentioned being confused by all the names flying through the book's pages, and I do agree that I sometimes had to backtrack to identify who was who. But the tumult seemed to match Mrs. Gaskell's personality - garrulous, erratic, but always interested in others and therefore herself interesting. I did enjoy reading about a woman currently off the radar of literary popularity, but a contemporary of Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot, and, moreover, a woman who managed to balance a writing career with marriage, motherhood, and social activism. The lady had it together.

  • Shelley
    2018-08-26 20:03

    This is the first Jenny Uglow book I did not adore unconditionally. It's as much a biography of Gaskell's writing as it is her life; you'd think since I love Gaskell, this would be heavenly. It's not. It's too long, there are so many unanswered questions about other people in her life, and I already knew her works, so I found those chapters tedious.For all that, it's still great reading, just not as amazing as her later biographies.

  • Malvina
    2018-09-12 20:52

    Having just read and loved 'Cranford', I launched into this biography of Elizabeth Gaskell. It is extremely thorough, some of it documented with fascinating letters and reviews. Jenny Uglow gives good commentary into Gaskell's works as well as her life, so even though I haven't read some of Gaskell's body of work I was still able to gain valuable insights into her writings. A terrific biography.

  • Filjan
    2018-09-22 19:50

    I know now about Elizabeth Gaskell who was just a name to me till I read this book. Jenny Uglow always writes a good book. If I have one complaint it is that there are too many characters but that really isn't her fault I suppose.

  • Alicia
    2018-09-03 15:44

    This is a very long book, so I skipped over some parts and skimmed others. In the parts I was interested in, I was glad there was a lot of detail. There is quite a bit of commentary about Gaskell's most important works, as well as information about her life.

  • Andrea
    2018-09-17 13:44

    The topical format did not work as well as a chronological order.

  • Mrsgaskell
    2018-08-31 14:57

    An excellent biography of one of my favourite Victorian writers - a gift from my brother. It's best to have read all of her major novels before reading this since they are discussed in detail.

  • Atef Ahmed
    2018-09-25 17:04

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