Top critical review
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on 11 October 2010
This is the first of Elizabeth Gaskill's novels, and therefore isn't her best. Her author's voice is far too domineering, at times lecturing; and the minor characters given too much importance.
However, there are excellent passages, and the overall historical detail is clearly written by someone who had witnessed the people and the places described. The plot works well, giving the reader an opportunity to reflect upon how society affected the people of the time. These thoughts are also very relevant to life in the 21st century.