Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was an English novelist, biographer, and short story writer. Mary Barton is a story of the daughter of trade unionist, who rejects her working-class lover Jem Wilson in the hope of marrying Henry Carson, the mill owner’s son, and making a better life for herself and her father. But when Henry is shot down in the street and Jem becomes the main suspect, Mary finds herself painfully torn between the two men. Through Mary's dilemma, and the moving portrayal of her father the novel powerfully dramatizes the class divides of the 'hungry forties' as personal tragedy.
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