Elizabeth Gaskell was an English author, one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed novelists of Victorian literature, whose works offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many strata of contemporary society. “Ruth” is a social novel, dealing with Victorian views about sin and illegitimacy. The main protagonist is Ruth Hilton, an orphaned dressmaker’s assistant, who is seduced and abandoned by the wealthy Henry Bellingham. A hunchbacked nonconformist minister, Thurstan Benson, takes pity on her and helps to lonely and pregnant woman to establish a new life as a respectable widow, Mrs Denbigh. All is well until Bellingham reappears on the scene... “Ruth” is often considered one of, if not the best, of her works, as well as a significant piece of Victorian literature, so you have the great opportunity to enjoy it.