Book - 1997
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Ruth Hilton is an orphaned young seamstress who catches the eye of a gentleman, Henry Bellingham, who is captivated by her simplicity and beauty. When she loses her job and home, he offers her comfort and shelter, only to cruelly desert her soon after. Nearly dead with grief and shame, Ruth is offered the chance of a new life among people who give her love and respect, even though they are at first unaware of her secret - an illegitimate child. When Henry enters her life again, however, Ruth must make the impossible choice between social acceptance and personal pride. In writing Ruth, Elizabeth Gaskell daringly confronted prevailing views about sin and illegitimacy with her compassionate and honest portrait of a 'fallen woman'.
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1997.
ISBN: 9780140434309
Branch Call Number: FICTION Gaskell Elizabet
Characteristics: xxx, 394 p. ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Easson, Angus


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Vilka Mar 30, 2014

Stands out as a Victorian novel about an unwed mother (*gasp*!) written sympathetically (*GASP!*) by a married woman. I found the writing more accessible than much 19th-century writing, a bit less flowery and with more insight into people's feelings and personalities, including the unsympathetic characters; still took a bit of work to get through, but not as much as Jane Austen did. I think it's at its strongest near the very end, where the author more overtly confronts ideas of morality, redemption, and the real vs deserved treatment and ultimate fate of social outcasts.


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