This selection of seven of Gaskell's best short stories includes "Lizzie Leigh," "The Old Nurse's Story," "Half a Life-time Ago," "Lois the Witch," "The Crooked Branch," "Curious, if True," and "Cousin Phillis."
About the Author
Tremendously popular in her lifetime, the books of the English author Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) have often been overshadowed by her contemporaries the Brontës and George Eliot. Yet the reputation of her long-neglected masterpiece Wives and Daughters continues to grow. Gaskell wrote six novels in all — of which North and South and Cranford remain two of the best known — as well as numerous short stories, novellas, and a biography of her great friend Charlotte Brontё.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Moody and feelingly wrought short works by the author of Cranford and Mary Gaskell.
This collections was mixed--and a bit repetitive. Bad children, long suffering parents, moments of redemption and forgiveness. I'm not sure if Gaskell wrote these before some of her well-known novels or at the same time, but I did note a lot of similarity in characters and themes. The selfish, debt-ridden son in "The Crooked Branch," for example, was the same type as the son in The Moorland Cottage, and his faithful, sacrificing fiancee/cousin was a match for that young man's sister. "Lois the Witch" was a stereotypical tale of the witch craze in Salem, where jealousy and religious fanaticism turn into false accusations; it made me conclude that Gaskell is much better in familiar territory. While not really bad, this collection made me wish I had spent my time reading or rereading one of her better developed novels.