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Ruth

A fallen woman would seem a less-than-ideal choice for a Victorian heroine. Elizabeth Gaskell courageously created just such a portrait in her Ruth. Overturning the conventional assumption that a woman once seduced is condemned to exclusion from respectable society, Gaskell draws a heroine whose emotional honesty, innate morality, and the love she shares with her illegitimate son are suffi cient for redemption.