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date: 21 June 2024


The Oxford Companion to English Literature
Dinah BirchDinah Birch

A novel by Harriet *Martineau, published in 1839; her only venture into domestic realism. Focusing on middle‐class life in the small community of Deerbrook, the novel describes the experiences of two orphaned sisters, Hester and Margaret Ibbotson, who move to Deerbook from Birmingham. The malicious gossip and misunderstanding that permeate village life are vividly described, and the novel's exploration of changing social conditions for women, the rise of the professions, and the potential for happiness and unhappiness for both men and women in marriage look forward to the interests of ... ...

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