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Elizabeth Gaskell’s four-hundred-page novel Ruth (1853) narrates the seduction and subsequent fall of the main character, Ruth Hilton, the characters who support her, and the characters who persecute and trouble her through her trials and her loving devotion to her son.

The book contains many Biblical themes and references (when is the last time you read a book that alluded to King Belshazzar or Rizpah?), notwithstanding the main character’s name itself, as well as a cast of Christ-devoted characters.

Does this book tell a Christian story? Does it have value for Christians today or is it outdated? Why is this book read in the universities but Christians today have never heard of it?

Once you’ve finished the book, read an in-depth literary analysis “The Great Victorian Sin in ‘Ruth’ by Elizabeth Gaskell.”