"The Moorland Cottage and Other Stories by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
"I believe the art of telling a story is born with some people, and these have it to perfection". Elizabeth Gaskell was a consummate storyteller, and in this selection of one short novel and eight stories she encompasses an extraordinary range of narrative voices, settings, and genres. She herself acknowledged, "you know I can tell stories better than any other way of expressing myself". Her work shows her compulsion to express herself on the many subjects relevant to her experience as a Victorian and Mancunian, a Unitarian, a social observer and a woman. Above all, however, she writes about love. Love is the common thread which runs through the stories collected here. Gaskell recognizes that it can give rise to selfishness as well as self-sacrifice, unhappiness as well as joy. Writing with passion and shrewdness, irony and sympathy, she explores these paradoxes through humour, pathos, tragedy, the extraordinary, and the everyday.