Wives and Daughters Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Wives and Daughters.
This section contains 526 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Wives and Daughters Summary & Study Guide Description

Wives and Daughters Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell is a novel about young girl named Molly Gibson, who at the age of 17 gets not only a new step mother but also a very beautiful step sister. The novel follows Molly throughout the next couple of years of her life as she adjusts to the new circumstances of her life, and the many challenges it brings with it.

Molly Gibson is the main character of this novel. This novel takes place in England in the 1800's. When Molly was a small child her mother died leaving Molly to be raised with her father the town doctor. As Molly gets older her father sees the advantages to Molly having a mother to teach her how to be a young women and all the things he can't, so he marries a widow woman with a daughter about Molly's age named Cynthia. Cynthia is beautiful and charming and she and Molly become fast friends. Molly loves Cynthia and would do anything for her, that love is tested many times.

Before Molly's father marries Clare, Molly is becomes friends with a family in the neighborhood named the Hamley's. The Hamley's have two son's Osborne, and Roger. Osborne is everything Molly thought she could like about a boy and Roger was just the opposite of his brother. Molly and Roger become friends and Roger talks to Molly about books and science and teaches her things she has always wanted to learn. During one visit with the Hamley's Molly overhears and secret she wishes for years to come that she never knew. Osborne has secretly gotten married and wants her to help keep his secret from his father.

As Molly and Cynthia become closer Molly realizes that her new sister seems to have a power over most young men and they can't' help falling for her charms. Roger Hamley would be no exception, and soon proposes marriage to Cynthia. Molly isn't sure why she isn't happy for her sister. But she is very jealous of the relationship between the two. Molly doesn't think her sister loves Roger the way Roger deserves to be loved.

While Roger is away in Africa, Molly finds out her sister has a secret. She is already engaged to another man. Cynthia had promised to marry another man when she only 16 and now she wanted out of the engagement and the man would not let her. Molly helped her sister at the risk of her own reputation. Some of the busy bodies in town saw Molly talking to him and they thought she was having an affair with him and Molly is the one who ended up the bad reputation. That is until Lady Harriet the daughter of the Lord and Lady of Hollingford stood up for her and cleared the air.

Cynthia calls off the engagement the day before Osborne Hamley dies. And when Roger comes to town to take care of the funeral business, and the matter of Osborne's secret wife and now 2 year old son, he realizes the love he was looking for was growing right in front of him all along. Molly Gibson.

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This section contains 526 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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