Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Moorland Cottage: precursor to Wives & Daughters

I just started The Moorland Cottage, one of Gaskell's novellas, last night. She wrote it fairly early in her career, about the same time as Mary Barton. The little girl in the story, Maggie Browne, reminds me of Molly Gibson, her mother reminds me of Hyacinth Gibson in her self-centered jealousy of her daughter, Mrs. Buxton reminds me of Mrs. Hamley in her response to Maggie and her fragility, and Frank Buxton reminds me of Roger Hamley in his championing of Maggie. It will be interesting to see if Moorland Cottage really is a precursor to W&D, or if the characters early on simply remind of others that she develops later.

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