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Lizzie Leigh

Lizzie Leigh by Elizabeth Gaskell
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Elizabeth Gaskell’s Lizzie Leigh is the sad tragedy of a young girl who, while being away from home for work in Manchester, commits the sin of adultery and becomes pregnant with an illegitimate child. She decides not to return home for fear of her harsh father’s reaction. Not knowing whether her daughter is still alive, her mother decides to take her two sons and go to Manchester to look for her. The narrative then follows Lizzie’s poignant existence as she tries to purge her soul from sin. Time goes by and Lizzie is still consumed by her feeling of guilt. In fact, while she has been forgiven by her family, and even by her dying, patriarchal father, Lizzie does not seem to forgive herself. Later, her illegitimate child dies and she decides to spend the rest of her life praying for forgiveness in a secluded place. Strangers in the area wonder about her mystery, yet they greatly appreciate her humble character and willingness to help others. Meanwhile, Lizzie’s mother continues her search through the streets of Manchester until fate finally reunites the family. By and large, Gaskell’s novella focuses mainly on the description of family roles and the nature of the relations between its different members.

Copyright Group; August 2013
26 pages; ISBN 9781780006543
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Title: Lizzie Leigh
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell