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My Lady Ludlow

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By: (1810-1865)

This novella by the acclaimed Elizabeth Gaskell follows the reminiscences and life of aristocratic Lady Ludlow, told through the eyes of one of her charges, the young Margaret Dawson. Lady Ludlow epitomizes the unwillingness of the old English gentry to accept the progression of social reform and technology, such as education for the poor and religious leniency. She reminisces about her friends in the French revolution and tries to protect and guide the numerous young ladies she has taken under her care.

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MY LADY LUDLOW by Elizabeth Gaskell

CHAPTER I.

I am an old woman now, and things are very different to what they were in my youth. Then we, who travelled, travelled in coaches, carrying six inside, and making a two days' journey out of what people now go over in a couple of hours with a whizz and a flash, and a screaming whistle, enough to deafen one. Then letters came in but three times a week: indeed, in some places in Scotland where I have stayed when I was a girl, the post came in but once a month; but letters were letters then; and we made great prizes of them, and read them and studied them like books. Now the post comes rattling in twice a day, bringing short jerky notes, some without beginning or end, but just a little sharp sentence, which well bred folks would think too abrupt to be spoken. Well, well! they may all be improvements, I dare say they are; but you will never meet with a Lady Ludlow in these days.

I will try and tell you about her. It is no story: it has, as I said, neither beginning, middle, nor end.

My father was a poor clergyman with a large family... Continue reading book >>


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