Elizabeth Gaskell's Ruth (1853) was the first mainstream novel to make a fallen woman its eponymous heroine. It is a remarkable story of love, of the sanctuary and tyranny of the family, and of the consequences of lies and deception, one that lays bare Victorian hypocrisy and sexual double-standards. Shocking to contemporary readers, its radical utopian vision of "a pure woman faithfully presented" predates Hardy's Tess by nearly forty years. This fully revised and corrected new edition is based on the three-volume first edition of 1853, collated with the one-volume 1855 edition. Tim Dolin's fascinating new introduction challenges the view of Ruth as one of Gaskell's weaker novels and explores its radicalism and cultural influence, highlighting the remarkable story of love, family, and hypocrisy that it tells. In addition, the book includes an up-to-date bibliography, a chronology of Gaskell's life and work, and invaluable notes that shed much light on the book's historical, religious, and literary allusions and points of significance.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Tim Dolin is Associate Professor in the School of Media, Culture, and Creative Arts at Curtin University of Technology.
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