The plot of Mary Barton concerns the poverty and desperation of England's industrial workers. Fundamentally, however, it revolves around Mary's personal conflicts. She is already divided between an affection for an industrialist's son, Henry Carson, and for a man of her own class, Jem Wilson. But Mary's conflict escalates when her father, a committed trade unionist, is asked to assassinate Henry, who is the son of his unjust employer....Continua
Even the 19th century love story was there as social commentary and on the gloomy side, including the line of the hero picturing see his lover dead when he heard she'd been interested in someone else. "A vision of her pale sweet face, with her bright hair, all bedabbled with gore, seemed to float constantly before his eyes".
She wrote this after the death of her son and there was some beautiful passages, my favorite was:
It is the woes that cannot in any earthly way be escaped that admit least earthly comforting. Of all trite, worn-out hollow mockeries of comfort that are ever uttered by people who will not take the trouble of sympathising with others, the one I dislike the most is the exhortion not to grieve over an event "for it cannot be helped". Do you think if I could help it, I would sit still with folded hands, content to mourn? Do you not believe that as long as hope remained I would be up and doing? I mourn because what has occurred cannot be helped. The reason you give me for not grieving, is the very and sole reason of my grief."