Preface; Chapter 1 and Chapter 2
• John Barton, his pregnant wife Mary and his thirteen-year-old daughter Mary are visiting the Green Hey Fields.
• Mary Barton the elder is upset by the disappearance of her sister, Esther.
• The Bartons run into their friends the Wilsons - George Wilson, his wife Jane, their eldest son Jem and their twin baby sons.
• Jem Wilson steals a kiss from young Mary, who slaps him in return.
• The Wilsons agree to join the Bartons at their home for tea.
• Mr. Barton invites Alice Wilson, George Wilson's sister, to tea as well.
Chapter 3, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5
• Mrs. Barton goes into labor in the middle of the night.
• Mrs. Barton has died by the time John returns home with the doctor.
• Mary takes a job at Miss Simmonds' as a seamstress.
• A year passes - John becomes more involved in workers' union activities, and Jem has become...
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