Community service announcement: There Is No Last Chapter Of Wives And Daughters.
I have been telling this to everyone I know, even people who have never heard of that great Victorian novelist of the everyday, because I reached page 648 (648!) before I found out. Instead of the anticipated chapter, there was a note from the editor, regretting to inform me that Mrs Gaskell died before she could complete the book.
You can imagine my shock, and devastation. Nowhere in canon mythology is it made clear that this smack to the head is coming.
Thank god for BBC adaptations.
Next: I wish I had written this exchange (between Molly and the poor/creepy Mr Preston – she trying to convince him Cynthia does not want to marry him):
‘I cannot tell about other people,’ said Molly, ‘I only know that Cynthia does–‘ Here she hesitated for a moment; she felt for his pain, and so she hesitated; but then she brought it out, – ‘does as nearly hate you as anybody like her ever does hate.’
‘Like her?’ said he, repeating the words almost unconsciously, seizing on anything to try and hide his mortification.
‘I mean, I should hate worse,’ said Molly in a low voice.
Brilliant, brilliant dialogue, Mrs Gaskell! It turns Molly superhuman.
And now, to finish this small list of things:
From North and South, my favourite adaptation EVER. Including Pride and Prejudice. (I’m sorry Colin, but your see-through shirt cannot compete with Richard Armitage’s man-pain.)