The Moorland Cottage, Paperback

The Moorland Cottage Paperback

Part of the Hesperus Classics series

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)

Description

Growing up in Yorkshire, the daughter of a deceased clergyman, Maggie Browne is encouraged to devote herself to her brother, Edward, upon whom their widowed mother dotes.

Through the example and guidance of her mentor, Mrs Buxton, Maggie learns that self-sacrifice is the key to living a fulfilled life.

How much personal happiness will she forgo in the name of duty and devotion to her brother? The precursor to and arguably the template for George Eliot's "The Mill on the Floss", The Moorland Cottage was written in 1850 by famous Victorian author and biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell. Originally written as part of a Christmas edition, this novella depicts the struggle of a strong-minded Victorian woman, torn between her dreams and her duty towards her family.

Maggie's love story, Edward's perfidy and the dramatic conclusion at sea, make The Moorland Cottage a timeless tale.

Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781843912026

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Reviews

Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by
4

Moorland Cottage by Elizabeth Gaskell is a short novella that was first published around 1850 after her first novel Mary Barton but before one of her more famous novels Cranford. It centers on Maggie Browne, her brother Edward, and their mother who live at the novella's title Moorland Cottage. Mr. Browne died when the children were very young and Mrs. Browne has spent most of the rest of her time neglecting Maggie and catering to her Edward, allowing him all of life's pleasures and ambitions. Maggie obediently stands by and watches her mother spoil Edward and never complains when she is ordered around or criticized for every little thing she does wrong. Maggie's fortune changes when a friend of her father's Mr. Buxton visits the family and invites them to come and spend the day at his home. Maggie becomes a favorite to his sick wife and only son Frank and spends a day a week in their company. Mrs. Buxton teaches Maggie a lot about self-sacrificing, and as Maggie grows she becomes a beautiful, pious young woman and she must learn to find her voice if she is to overcome some of the obstacles that come into her way. For the most part I really enjoyed this novella. I love the way that Mrs. Gaskell writes and I have enjoyed all of the previous books of hers that I have read. She is one of my favorite authors. I think she has such a way with words and expressing simple thoughts and ideas, she can make the most mundane circumstances sound charming and poetic. This novella has all of the things that I love so much about her work. Also, for a novella the pace is never hurried and I never felt as if the story was skipping over major events to save time. On the other hand, I don't think this is one of her strongest works. The story is at time too sentimental and I found that some of the characters were a little flat or too perfect. Maggie is so virtuous and never does anything wrong or complain about her lot in life. She feels horribly about the way her mother treats her but she doesn't moan about it. It seems a bit too much for a young girl to accept her life like that. Edward is so bad that at times he seems so flat and hardly ever shows any remorse for his actions. Also I see a lot of similarities in the relationships between Maggie and Frank and the relationship between Roger and Molly in Wives and Daughters but I think that by the time Mrs. Gaskell went to write Wives and Daughters she expanded so much on Roger and Molly and perfected this relationship perfectly. Also I see a lot of similarities in the relationships between Maggie and Frank and the relationship between Roger and Molly in Wives and Daughters but I think that by the time Mrs. Gaskell went to write Wives and Daughters she expanded so much on Roger and Molly and perfected this relationship perfectly. This novella is an excellent way to introduce Mrs. Gaskell’s writings and see how well her writing develops when reading some of her later novels.

Review by
3.5

The Browne siblings could not be more different: sweet, mild mannered Maggie and rough, self-centered Ned. How are their lives affected when they are introduced to the Buxton family, a well-to-do country family?The widow Mrs. Browne has high hopes for her son, yet cuts her daughter at every turn. Mr. Buxton takes an interest in Ned's schooling, while his son Frank and niece Erminia sympathizes for Maggie's ill treatment at the hands of her family. How far will Maggie go to keep peace in the family?For anyone who has watched 'Return to Cranford' this short story by Gaskell was inter-woven into the story line (with a few alterations of course). As a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell's work, I can say it is no North and South or Mary Barton, it still has tragedy and intrigue but on a much lighter level. I do reccomend it as a great quick and easy read!

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