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A haunting, beautifully controlled novella, Cousin Phyllis is considered to be among Elizabeth Gaskell's finest short works. Lodging with a minister on the outskirts of London, Paul Manning is initially dismayed to discover that the uncle he must visit in the country is also a churchman. Yet far from the oppressively religious household he envisages, Manning is delighted to meet his genial relations--not least, his cousin Phyllis. But when Phyllis falls for the charms of his more sophisticated colleague, Manning's family ties render him powerless to prevent the inevitable heartbreak that ensues. Collaborator and friend of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) is a leading figure in Victorian literature.
Elizabeth Gaskell's books include Gothic mysteries and historical fiction, and much of her work was published in the journals of Charles Dickens. Her most famous novels are Cranford, North and South and Wives and Daughters. <P> <P> Her books tend to criticize social attitudes that were common at the time as well as exploring the roles of women in society with dynamic female characters. A Dark Night's Work is about a murder that was motivated due to class inequalities. The book was serialized by Charles Dickens in 1863.
I had been living at Tunbridge Wells and nowhere else, going on for ten years, when my medical man-very clever in his profession, and the prettiest player I ever saw in my life of a hand at Long Whist, which was a noble and a princely game before <P> <P> Short was heard of-said to me, one day, as he sat feeling my pulse on the actual sofa which my poor dear sister Jane worked before her spine came on, and laid her on a board for fifteen months at a stretch-the most upright woman that ever lived-said to me, "What we want, ma'am, is a fillip. ""Good gracious, goodness gracious, Doctor Towers!" says I, quite startled at the man, for he was so christened himself: "don't talk as if you were alluding to people's names; but say what you mean. ""I mean, my dear ma'am, that we want a little change of air and scene. ""Bless the man!" said I; "does he mean we or me!""I mean you, ma'am. ""Then Lard forgive you, Doctor Towers," I said; "why don't you get into a habit of expressing yourself in a straightforward manner, like a loyal subject of our gracious Queen Victoria, and a member of the Church of England?"Towers laughed, as he generally does when he has fidgetted me into any of my impatient ways-one of my states, as I call them-and then he began,-"Tone, ma'am, Tone, is all you require!" He appealed to Trottle, who just then came in with the coal-scuttle, looking, in his nice black suit, like an amiable man putting on coals from motives of benevolence.
Margaret Hale is forced to resettle from her comfortable home in Hampshire to with her family to the North of England after her father leaves the Church. At first Margaret Hale is repulsed by the ugliness of the industrial town of Milton. She becomes aware aware of the poverty and suffering of the local workers and develops a sense of social justice into social concern.
Elizabeth Gaskell's only historical novel, Sylvia's Lovers, is set in 1790 in the seaside town of Monkshaven (Whitby) where press-gangs wreak havoc by seizing young men for service in the Napoleonic wars. One of their victims is whaling harpooner, Charley Kinraid, whose charm and vivacity have captured the heart of Sylvia Robson. But Sylvia's devoted cousin, Philip Hepburn, hopes to marry her himself and, in order to win her, deliberately withholds crucial information - with devastating consequences. With its themes of suffering, unrequited love, and the clash between desire and duty, Sylvia's Lovers is one of the most powerfully moving of all Gaskell's novels, reputedly described by its author as 'the saddest story I ever wrote'.
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