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Wives and Daughters

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Book Overview: 

Mrs. Gaskell, as she was often referred to, is considered one of the greatest British novelists. She was the author of The Life of Charlotte Brontë, a much-acclaimed and sometimes-reviled biography of her friend and peer.

Wives and Daughters revolves around Molly Gibson, only daughter of a widowed doctor living in a provincial English town.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .You'll know better before you come to my age. And I suppose you've been taught music, and the use of the globes, and French, and all the usual accomplishments, since you have had a governess? I never heard of such nonsense!' she went on, lashing herself up. 'An only daughter! If there had been half-a-dozen girls, there might have been some sense in it.'

Molly did not speak but it was by a strong effort that she kept silence. Mrs. Kirkpatrick fondled her hand more perseveringly than ever, hoping thus to express a sufficient amount of sympathy to prevent her from saying anything injudicious. But the caress had become wearisome to Molly, and only irritated her nerves. She took her hand out of Mrs. Kirkpatrick's, with a slight manifestation of impatience.

It was, perhaps, fortunate for the general peace that just at this moment Mr. Gibson was announced. It is odd enough to see how the entrance of a person of the opposite sex into an. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Whilst Wives and Daughters isn't my favourite Elizabeth Gaskell, I loved the insight in to 19th century domestic life, especially the customs, relationships and descriptions of rural living.

Our heroine, Molly Gibson, is unassuming and quiet, yet has an inner steely determination and steadfast values

[Review on second reading]
I have no words for how much I love this book and how thoroughly impressed I was on this reread. It is an incredible, beautiful, poignant, subtle novel, and an absolute must-read.
[Review on third reading]
I have to say this is fast becoming one of my absolute favourite novel

Do you like fairy tales? Well Gaskell certainly did:

"To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood. In a country there was a shire, and in that shire there was a town, and in that town there was a house, and in that house there was a room, and in that room there was a bed, and in that bed there lay a

This 1865 novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, who also wrote the lovely North and South, is a pleasant but rather leisurely and lengthy tale of the personalities that inhabit an English country town in about the 1830's. The novel centers around Molly Gibson, the quiet and somewhat passive, but deeply sensit

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