Classic Book Review: Moorland Cottage

The Moorland Cottage by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Moorland Cottage
by Elizabeth Gaskell

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Maggie endures with patience the selfishness of her mother and brother, and finds friendship with the invalid wife of their rich neighbor, Mr. Buxton. The two families’ destinies become dangerously linked when Maggie’s brother goes astray, and Mr. Buxton demands a high price for saving him.

I loved Maggie’s strong character! She has a quiet and meek personality, but wonderfully fierce in her defense of the truth. I really loved her character development as she strives to make good decisions for her family.
Maggie’s mother is weak and foolish, and spoils the son, Edward, with too much attention. I was so annoyed with the stupid mother for not seeing how she ruined her child by encouraging his selfish behavior. I really hated Edward, Maggie’s brother. He is so rude to his sister, always expecting her to do everything for him and get him out of trouble.
It’s excellent writing that made me so annoyed with the bad characters, and so in love with the good characters!
The Buxton family all have such interesting personalities. Mr. Buxton, fun and jovial, but easily swayed by other’s opinions. Mrs. Buxton, sweet and kind and quiet in her constant illness. Their son, Frank, full of energy and intelligence and gentlemanly ways. And their niece, Erminia, a little spoiled and dainty, but with a good heart.

I was not amazingly impressed with the plot. It’s pretty standard stuff, with ambition, betrayal, and secret engagements. The really impressive thing is how the writing made this predictable plot seem fresh and new and interesting. I was absorbed in the story, and my attention was engaged through every dramatic scene.

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