Fever in Eccleston! Ruth, Chapter 33

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While reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Ruth in connection with another project, I came across some passages that seemed uncannily apt to our own situation – the Great Fever of 2020. As the text wends its way towards a conclusion, fever strikes, … Continued

The Women of Cranford – Part 2

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Cranford is presented as an isolated community rooted in the past and inwardly focused on the minutiae of domestic routine and etiquette, yet the town has a railway; a dynamic force which undercuts the inward focus and inertia of this … Continued

The Women of Cranford – Part 1

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For April’s ‘This Month in Writing’ I have chosen to discuss Cranford as two episodes of the story were published in Household Words in April 1852 and April 1853. These were ‘Visiting at Cranford’ and ‘Stopped payment at Cranford’.  However, … Continued

A Dark Night’s Work

Published in 1863, ‘A Dark Night’s Work’ was first serialised in Dickens’ periodical All The Year Round between January and March 1862. Despite its title, it is predominantly a psychological exploration of class, parental expectations, love and duty, a domestic tale! … Continued

The Old Nurse’s Story

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‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ can be found in collections of Gothic stories, ghost stories and tales of the macabre, something which might seem odd for a woman who was the wife of a Unitarian minister and, as a Unitarian, a … Continued