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Elizabeth Gaskell Book and Novel

Elizabeth Gaskell - Author


Elizabeth Gaskell was born in Chelsea, London, in 1810. Her father was a Unitarian minister and her mother died 13 months after her birth. Unable to raise her himself, her father sent the young Elizabeth to live with her aunt, Hannah Lumb, in Knutsford, Cheshire, in a town she later immortalized as Cranford.

In 1832, when staying in Manchester, Elizabeth met and married William Gaskell, the minister of the Cross Street Unitarian Chapel. Most of William Gaskell’s parishioners were textile workers and Elizabeth was deeply shocked by the poverty she witnessed in industrial Manchester. The circles in which they moved included social reformers and both the Gaskells were very involved in charity work in Manchester. Elizabeth started writing after the death of her baby son when her husband suggested it might help her recover from her grief. Her first novel, Mary Barton, dealt with social issues such as poverty and trade unionism. When it was published in 1848 it was greatly admired by other writers such as Thackeray and Charles Dickens, who serialized some of Gaskell’s other work in his journal, Household Words. Elizabeth published many other books, including North and South and a biography of Charlotte Brontë. She died in 1865 in Hampshire, before completing Wives and Daughters, in a house she had bought as a surprise for her husband. She had intended that they would spend their retirement there.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Elizabeth Gaskell

Mr Harrison's Confessions by Elizabeth Gaskell
Mr Harrison's Confessions
Elizabeth Gaskell
A wonderfully witty swipe of playfulness by one of the best social commentators of her time. First published in 1851 (before Cranford), Elizabeth Gaskell lets you in on the secrets of small town and village life; the thrill...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/08/2014
Wives and Daughters - Compact Editions by Elizabeth Gaskell
Wives and Daughters - Compact Editions
Elizabeth Gaskell
Molly Gibson finds her life turned upside down when her widowed father remarries bringing a new step-mother and step-sister in to her home. This Compact Edition omits or cuts down some of the groupings of minor characters and background descriptions...
Format: Paperback (b Format) - Released: 03/05/2007

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