Mary Barton is the pretty daughter of a factory worker who finds herself dreaming of a better life when the mill-owner’s charming son, Henry, starts to court her. She rejects her childhood friend Jem’s affections in the hope of marrying Henry and escaping from the hard and bitter life that is the fate of the workers. But when Henry is shot dead in the street Jem becomes the prime suspect and Mary finds her loyalties tested to the limit.
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Mary Barton first appeared in 1848, and has since become one of the best known novels on the ‘condition of England,’ part of a nineteenth-century British trend to understand the enormous cultural, economic and social changes wrought by industrialization. Gaskell’s work had great importance to the labour and reform movements, and it influenced writers such as Charles Dickens, Thomas Carlyle and Charlotte Brontë.
The plot of Mary Barton concerns the poverty and desperation of England’s industrial workers. Fundamentally, however, it revolves around Mary’s personal conflicts. She is already divided between an affection for an industrialist’s son, Henry Carson, and for a man of her own class, Jem Wilson. But Mary’s conflict escalates when her father, a committed trade unionist, is asked to assassinate Henry, who is the son of his unjust employer.
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Book Description Everyman's Library, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110679434941
Book Description Everyman's Library, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0679434941
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