Mary Barton (stage version) Paperback / softback
Paperback / softback
Set in Manchester between 1837-42, Elizabeth Gaskell's first novel paints a powerful and moving picture of working-class life in Victorian England.
It concerns Mary Barton, a millworker's daughter, anxious to rise through the ranks, and her father, who commits murder to thwart her ambition - an episode based on the actual murder in 1831 of a progressive millowner.
Like its companion novel, "North and South", "Mary Barton" offers a stirring narrative with real insight into the lives of the Victorian working classes: it was published the same year, 1848, as the "Communist Manifesto".
Rona Munro, already well-known for a strand of gritty realism in plays such as "Iron", set in a women's prison, has been commissioned by the prestigious Manchester Royal Exchange to adapt "Mary Barton" for their impressive theatre-in-the-round.
It opens in September 2006.
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