Cornhill Magazine,  10 (1864), 695–721.

Wives and Daughters. An Every-Day Story Ch. 12–14  [5/17]

[Elizabeth C Gaskell]


Novel, Serial


Natural History, Collecting, Entomology, Nomenclature, Reading

    Molly Gibson excitedly tells her old friends the Miss Brownings of Roger Hamley's 'wisdom in natural science, and some of the curiosities he had shown her', but is somewhat disconcerted when they remark knowingly that she has been seeing 'a great deal of Mr. Roger' (704). Roger later arrives bearing 'a wasps'-nest as a present from himself' (716), and explains that there 'has been no lack of such things this year; we've taken seventy-four on my father's land alone; and one of the labourers, a poor fellow who ekes out his wages by bee-keeping, has had a sad misfortune—the wasps have turned the bees out of his seven hives, taken possession, and eaten up the honey'. When one of the Browning sisters exclaims of the wasps, 'What greedy little vermin!', Molly notices how 'Roger's eyes twinkle at the misapplication of the word'. (717) At a further meeting, Roger asks Molly, 'how are you getting on with Huber; don't you find him very interesting?', to which she 'penitently' replies, 'I'm afraid [...] I haven't read much' (720).


Gaskell 1866

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