Book Review: “Mary Barton” by Elizabeth Gaskell - 1848
This is Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel. She wanted to show the poverty experienced by the working class in her town of Manchester, England. Deftly, she describes the conflicts between labor and the owners of the cotton mill without taking sides, yet shows that the misunderstandings between the two are caused by lack of awareness and communication.
Yet, she doesn’t get bogged down in all of it. The novel has a lot of death, just like the two previous novels I read of hers, but death seems like such an important part of life in previous centuries where medicine isn’t as advanced as today.
The story also has romance--and even murder with a dramatic trial.
It was a great read.