Mary Barton

  • by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Narrated by Juliet Stevenson
  • 16 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When her father assassinates Henry Carson, his employer's son and Mary's admirer, suspicion falls on Mary's second admirer, Jem, a fellow worker. Mary has to prove her lover's innocence without incriminating her own father.
First published in 1848 and subtitled "A Tale of Manchester Life", the author's invention of entirely working-class characters for this novel was for the times an innovation.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Narration as Brilliant Performance Art

Juliet Stevenson is nothing less than brilliant in narrating this work of Elizabeth Gaskell, and brings its several characters to life with seeming effortlessness. It is a piece of vibrant performance art. Gaskell's touching novel is a reminder that the extent to which socio-economic dislocation and abuse will be eradicated is dependent on being spiritually alive to the oneness of humanity. And though written over 150 years ago, Gaskell's deep concern over society's deafness to the poor, never heavy-handedly conveyed, unfortunately still has rich meaning.
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- Amazon Customer

Mrs. Gaskell was so far ahead of her time

Elizabeth Gaskell wrote novels and short stories in the 1840-60's. That is 150 years ago! And her novels have aged perfectly because the people speak in voices that you could hear today.

She was only 55 when she died, leaving her last novel, "Wives and Daughters", unfinished. She also wrote "North and South", referring to England and the comparison between idyllic village life and terrible manufacturing town life. "Cranford" is a short novel, her second, and probably her best when considering characterizations.

I find it incredible that "Mary Barton" was her first novel. It is chock full of people you will recognize from our culture today. Our American culture at that, probably any culture.

Gaskell wrote in a manner that was so far ahead of her time. She needs to be appreciated by more people than just English majors. Her work deserves all sorts of people to read it. Just darned good story-telling.

I heartily recommend all her novels to Audible listeners. Even though these novels are in the public domain, the Audible versions are so much better spoken. The readers chosen by Audible are perfect, light British accent and easily understood. They add a lot to these books.
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- Pat

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-01-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios