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Round the Sofa   By: (1810-1865)

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Round the Sofa by Elizabeth Gaskell is a collection of short stories that is sure to captivate and entertain readers. Gaskell, known for her rich and realistic portrayals of Victorian society, once again demonstrates her storytelling prowess in this delightful book.

The stories in Round the Sofa take place in various settings and feature a diverse cast of characters. Gaskell's ability to create well-rounded and relatable individuals shines through in each tale. From the eccentric and humorous to the heartwarming and poignant, the characters come to life on the pages, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.

One of the standout aspects of this collection is Gaskell's keen observations of human nature. She delves into the complexities of relationships, delving into themes such as love, friendship, and family dynamics. Whether it is the subtle nuances of a budding romance or the intricate bonds between siblings, Gaskell's insights are astute and thought-provoking.

Moreover, Gaskell's vivid descriptions transport the reader to various time periods and locations effortlessly. Her attention to detail, along with her evocative prose, allows readers to immerse themselves fully in each story. From the bustling streets of London to the tranquil countryside, Gaskell expertly paints a vivid picture of the settings, adding to the overall charm of the book.

Another highlight of Round the Sofa is Gaskell's ability to seamlessly combine different genres within the collection. From gothic elements to mystery and suspense, each story offers a unique and thrilling experience. Gaskell's mastery in crafting engaging narratives with unexpected twists and turns ensures that readers will remain engrossed from beginning to end.

What sets Round the Sofa apart is Gaskell's ability to weave social commentary into her stories with subtlety and nuance. She addresses issues such as class distinctions, gender roles, and societal expectations, providing a glimpse into the complex tapestry of Victorian society. Through her characters' experiences, Gaskell offers thought-provoking insights and invites readers to reflect on these timeless issues.

In summary, Round the Sofa is a captivating collection of stories that showcases Elizabeth Gaskell's remarkable talent as a storyteller. With its well-developed characters, engaging plotlines, and thought-provoking themes, this book is a must-read for fans of Victorian literature and those seeking an immersive and rewarding reading experience.

First Page:


Long ago I was placed by my parents under the medical treatment of a certain Mr. Dawson, a surgeon in Edinburgh, who had obtained a reputation for the cure of a particular class of diseases. I was sent with my governess into lodgings near his house, in the Old Town. I was to combine lessons from the excellent Edinburgh masters, with the medicines and exercises needed for my indisposition. It was at first rather dreary to leave my brothers and sisters, and to give up our merry out of doors life with our country home, for dull lodgings, with only poor grave Miss Duncan for a companion; and to exchange our romps in the garden and rambles through the fields for stiff walks in the streets, the decorum of which obliged me to tie my bonnet strings neatly, and put on my shawl with some regard to straightness.

The evenings were the worst. It was autumn, and of course they daily grew longer: they were long enough, I am sure, when we first settled down in those gray and drab lodgings. For, you must know, my father and mother were not rich, and there were a great many of us, and the medical expenses to be incurred by my being placed under Mr. Dawson's care were expected to be considerable; therefore, one great point in our search after lodgings was economy. My father, who was too true a gentleman to feel false shame, had named this necessity for cheapness to Mr... Continue reading book >>

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