BRITISH WRITERS, Volume 5 by Ian Scott-Kilvert

By Ian Scott-Kilvert

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Chadwick, ed. (London, 1914), the Everyman's Library; Lizzie Leigh and Other Tales (London, 1855), short stories including "The Well of Pen-Morfa" (HW, 1850), "The Heart of John Middleton" (HW, 1850), "Mr. Harrison's Confessions" (Ladies' Companion, 1851), and "The Old Nurse's Story" (HW, Christmas 1852). The Life of Charlotte Bronte, 2 vols. (London, 1857), biography, in M. Sinclair, ed. (London, 1908), the Everyman's Library; My Lady Ludlow (New York, 1859), novel; Round the Sofa, 2 vols.

Just after Charlotte's death in 1855 Mrs. " After explaining how much she "honoured and loved her," she went on, "If I live long enough, and no one is living whom such a publication would hurt, I will publish what I know of her, and make the world . . " Two weeks later she received the letter from Charlotte's father asking her to write an account of his daughter's life and work. She set to work at once, and finished the book after two laborious years. If the material is remarkable, so is Mrs. Gaskell's treatment of it.

Mrs. " Some readers regretted the Dissenting minister's decision to conceal the truth about Ruth and to pass her off as a widow when she came to live with him and his sister. They felt he should have told the truth from the beginning—he would have avoided deceit and forestalled the unhappy consequences of the truth coming out later. ) Other reactions were more conventional. "I must be an improper person without knowing it," Mrs. Gaskell wrote when she heard that two members of the congregation in her husband's chapel had burned the book and a third had forbidden his wife to read it.

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