Short Story Review: The Squire’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell

Set between 1769 and 1775, The Squire’s Story tells the tale of a new arrival to the Derbyshire town of Barford.  This gentleman’s name is Mr Robinson Higgins and he quickly takes up residency is the grandest home in the area, The White House.  Where his money has come from, none know, but every few months he disappears.  He claims to travel down south to go and collect his rents, but he always goes alone.

On the outside, Mr Higgins is everything a popular man is expected to be.  He is a good rider, can tell good stories and plays jokes on those who he knows he can get away with.  Everyone seems to like.  He even ends up marrying Squire Hearn’s only daughter.

But there is always one who refuses to be deceived.  The elderly Miss Pratt suspects him.  Of what, she’s not sure, but unlike the others in Barford, she has a feeling that the face Mr Higgins wears for the county is not his real one.  But just what is his story?

The Squire’s Story was an interesting, quick read.  Although the answer to who or what Mr Higgins is isn’t answered until the end of the story, clues to his character are to be found throughout.

Even though the tale covers six years, I found it to be a little slow moving for my liking.  That being said, it was the characters that moved the story along, doing their bit to reveal the real Mr Higgins.

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2 thoughts on “Short Story Review: The Squire’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell

    • It wasn’t until I stumbled across a book called “Short Stories from the Nineteenth Century” that I realised she wrote short stories, but after a little search I found that she wrote quite a number of shorter works. I too love “North and South” and although I haven’t read “Wives and Daughters”, I watched a TV adaptation of it a few weeks ago, so I have added it to this year’s reading list 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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