Spending Time at The Moorland Cottage

Oh Maggie. I feel for you, I really do.

It was so hard for you to be left behind, as your mother accompanied your brother to school.

I understand that Ned is young and thoughtless, but your mother… I know that she has been lost and insecure since your father died, I understand that her future happiness and security is dependent on Ned, but why can’t she appreciate you?

If only she thought a little less about in her position in society and responded to people’s kindness, she would be so much happier. But she just doesn’t seem to be made that way.

I know that you find things difficult, that you resent the way she treats you, but you are so good to accept the way things are and just get on with things.

To be fair, your mother did seem to appreciate you a little more after Ned went away th school, but still Nancy has been more of a mother to you. You’re lucky to have her.

And you’re lucky to have good friends in the Buxtons.

It’s lovely that there has been such a bond between you and Mrs Buxton, and you were such a comfort to her as her health failed. And that you and Erminia continued to be such good friends, even when she went away to school and you were left behind again, and that you took such an unselfish pride in her accomplishments.

The relationship that grew between you and Frank was wonderful to watch, and I was thrilled when he proposed. You are so well matched, and I know that you could be so happy together.

Your mother is thrilled too, and it has raised her spirits after the disappointment of Ned favouring the law over the church. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I fear that she takes more pleasure of you marrying into a good family than on you marrying a good man.

What a pity though that Mr Buxton is so vehemently opposed to the match. I understand that he hoped that Frank and Erminia, his son and his niece, would marry. But Frank and Erminia both knew that they were not suited. So why can’t Mr Buxton, who loved his wife so much, see that, see how happy you are?

I do hope that things work out for you Maggie. You deserve to be happy, you really do …


Katherine of Gaskell Blog is hosting a group read of The Moorland Cottage by Elizabeth Gaskell. Do go and visit her, and read her wonderful posts about the story, the background, and so many wonderful details.

4 responses

  1. I love the way you talk to the characters you’re currently reading about 🙂
    It reminds me of intertextual readings in my English Lit. first year studies. Such a beautiful button and the Gaskell blog is so attractive. I’m tempted to join… I think I might at least try one Gaskell this year.

    • Sometimes a book just gets you that way Cristina. I’ve grown to love Mrs gaskell and I’ll definitely be reading one of her bigger books as soon as I can fit it in.

  2. I don’t know this Gaskell so can’t talk about it, but it does sound very miserable. Why do women in these novels have such a bad time? Probably because women of the period were pretty badly treated, I suppose.

    • There’s a lot of sadness but there are good things too.

      Maggie’s relationships with Nancy, Erminia and Frank are lovely, but her father’s death has clearly affected Maggie’s family very badly.

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