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A Dark Night's Work

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Book Overview: 

Love, murder and class commentary in Mrs Gaskell's usual brilliant style! She chose to avoid melodrama and concentrate on psychological realism to produce a moving story of people meeting and parting across class divides.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .bove him,” “claiming connection with the De Wintons of --- Castle, who, as she well knew, only laughed when he was spoken of, and said they were more rich in relations than they were aware of”—“not people papa would ever like her to know, whatever might be the family connection.”

These little speeches told in a way which the girl who uttered them did not intend they should.  Mrs. Corbet and her daughters set themselves violently against this foolish entanglement of Ralph’s; they would not call it an engagement.  They argued, and they urged, and they pleaded, till the squire, anxious for peace at any price, and always more under the sway of the people who were with him, however unreasonable they might be, than of the absent, even though these had the wisdom of Solomon or the prudence and sagacity of his son Ralph, wrote an angry letter, saying that, as Ralph was of age, of course he had a right to please himself, t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

What a wild ride! Elizabeth Gaskell is such a good writer. This is definitely more melodramatic than some of her novels but I think this would be a fun place to start with Gaskell. The story is compact and has plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat! I really enjoyed the comp

Aunque es una historia sencilla, previsible y a la que le sobran algunas páginas, ha conseguido entretenerme y sacarme de un bloqueo lector.

La historia trata sobre una joven y las consecuencias que va a tener en su vida un acontecimiento terrible.
Os la recomiendo si buscáis una lectura sin mayores

4.5/5 ⭐
Me ha mantenido en vilo toda la lectura y con el final no he podido evitar emocionarme profundamente

It is hard to review this story because it originally was serialized. And because of that there were plenty of repeats to keep new weekly readers of the story a prized of the story line.

If Gaskell had edited the story after the serialization, the narrative might have flowed better.

This was an real treat to discover - a truly brilliant Elizabeth Gaskell novella that, while short, beats many of her longer novels for me. It is a fascinating tale of morality and guilt, of family and love and loyalty. Absolutely worth a read.

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