Ruth
Free
Ruth
By Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
Free
Book Description

"If you want to whip me, uncle, you may do it. I don't much mind." Put in this form, it was impossible to carry out his intentions; and so Mr. Benson told the lad he might go-that he would speak to him another time. Leonard went away, more subdued in spirit than if he had been whipped. Sally lingered for a moment. She stopped to add: "I think it's for them without sin to throw stones at a poor child, and cut up good laburnum branches to whip him. I only do as my betters do, when I call Leonard's mother Mrs. Denbigh." The moment she had said this she was sorry; it was an ungenerous advantage after the enemy had acknowledged himself defeated. Mr. Benson dropped his head upon his hands, and hid his face, and sighed deeply. -Chapter XIX: "After Five Years" As interest in 19th-century English literature by women has been reinvigorated by a resurgence in popularity of the works of Jane Austen, readers are rediscovering a writer whose fiction, once widely beloved, fell by the wayside. British novelist ELIZABETH CLEGHORN GASKELL (1810-1865)-whose books were sometimes initially credited to, simply, "Mrs. Gaskell"-is now recognized as having created some of the most complex and progressive depictions of women in the literature of the age, and is today justly celebrated for her precocious use of the regional dialect and slang of England's industrial North. Ruth-Gaskell's third novel, first published in three volumes in 1853-is notable as one of the rare instances in the fiction of the era of a positive portrayal of unwed motherhood and for its thematic condemnation of the social stigma of illegitimacy. The tale of a young woman seduced and abandoned by her lover, then taken in and protected by a kindly minister and his sister, it is remarkably progressive for the period. Friend and literary companion to the likes of Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bront-the latter of whom Gaskell wrote an acclaimed 1857 biography-Gaskell is today being restored to her rightful place alongside them. This charming replica volume is an excellent opportunity for 21st-century fans of British literature to embrace one of its most unjustly forgotten authors.

Table of Contents
  • RUTH
  • by
  • ELIZABETH GASKELL
    • First published in book form by Chapman and Hall in 1853
    • CONTENTS
    • CHAPTER I
    • The Dressmaker's Apprentice at Work
    • CHAPTER II
    • Ruth Goes to the Shire-Hall
    • CHAPTER III
    • Sunday at Mrs Mason's
    • CHAPTER IV
    • Treading in Perilous Places
    • CHAPTER V
    • In North Wales
    • CHAPTER VI
    • Troubles Gather About Ruth
    • CHAPTER VII
    • The Crisis—Watching and Waiting
    • CHAPTER VIII
    • Mrs Bellingham "Does the Thing Handsomely"
    • CHAPTER IX
    • The Storm-Spirit Subdued
    • CHAPTER X
    • A Note and the Answer
    • CHAPTER XI
    • Thurstan and Faith Benson
    • CHAPTER XII
    • Losing Sight of the Welsh Mountains
    • CHAPTER XIII
    • The Dissenting Minister's Household
    • CHAPTER XIV
    • Ruth's First Sunday at Eccleston
    • CHAPTER XV
    • Mother and Child
    • CHAPTER XVI
    • Sally Tells of Her Sweethearts, and Discourses on the Duties of Life
    • CHAPTER XVII
    • Leonard's Christening
    • CHAPTER XVIII
    • Ruth Becomes a Governess in Mr Bradshaw's Family
    • CHAPTER XIX
    • After Five Years
    • CHAPTER XX
    • Jemima Refuses to Be Managed
    • CHAPTER XXI
    • Mr Farquhar's Attentions Transferred
    • CHAPTER XXII
    • The Liberal Candidate and His Precursor
    • CHAPTER XXIII
    • Recognition
    • CHAPTER XXIV
    • The Meeting on the Sands
    • CHAPTER XXV
    • Jemima Makes a Discovery
    • CHAPTER XXVI
    • Mr Bradshaw's Virtuous Indignation
    • CHAPTER XXVII
    • Preparing to Stand on the Truth
    • CHAPTER XXVIII
    • An Understanding Between Lovers
    • CHAPTER XXIX
    • Sally Takes Her Money Out of the Bank
    • CHAPTER XXX
    • The Forged Deed
    • CHAPTER XXXI
    • An Accident to the Dover Coach
    • CHAPTER XXXII
    • The Bradshaw Pew Again Occupied
    • CHAPTER XXXIII
    • A Mother to Be Proud Of
    • CHAPTER XXXIV
    • "I Must Go and Nurse Mr Bellingham"
    • CHAPTER XXXV
    • Out of Darkness into Light
    • CHAPTER XXXVI
    • The End
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