Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Moorland Cottage, Elizabeth Gaskell

I really enjoyed this short and sweet novella.  I'm a bit of a Gaskell fan, so it wasn't difficult to like.  The best part was doing it as a readalong at Gaskell blog, with all the lovely details this added to each chapter.

This is a simple story, with some unproblematially good (and bad) characters, and a bit of melodrama thrown in.  It's a quiet story, despite some of the big action in it.  A nice time-passer, but no North and South.  I think I like Gaskell more when she holds forth a little, and explores people and situations in more detail.  Moorland felt more like a practice story.

A couple of favourite quotes: I especially liked this reference to Australia, '"But, Maggie, I don't give up this wish of mine to go to Australia - Canada, if you like it better - anywhere where there is a newer and purer state of society."'  That's us Down Under: newer and purer! ;)

And this on the law: "Frank had entertained some idea of studying for a barrister himself: not so much as a means of livelihood as to gain some idea of the code which makes and shows a nation's conscience..."  Which is almost exactly why I like the law, and one of the reasons I studied it (though, I digress, I am more interested in how law is enacted - as in lived, not as in passed by a governing body - as compared to how it is encoded, but I do like encoding as a reflection of a social standard or norm).  /end digression :D

This was a delightful little novel, definitely worth a read, particularly if you're a Gaskell fan.  The characters are charming, the messages are simple, but complex enough to hold interest, the ending is happy (mostly).  If you're not expecting more, then you'll like it.  Good for a rainy day.


No comments: