Elizabeth Gaskell - Author Picture

Elizabeth Gaskell - Author

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born in London in 1810, but she spent her formative years in Cheshire, Stratford-upon-Avon and the north of England. In 1832 she married the Reverend William Gaskell, who became well known as the minister of the Unitarian Chapel in Manchester’s Cross Street. As well as leading a busy domestic life as minister’s wife and mother of four daughters, she worked among the poor, travelled frequently and wrote. Mary Barton (1848) was her first success.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s position as a clergyman’s wife and as a successful writer introduced her to a wide circle of friends, both from the professional world of Manchester and from the larger literary world. Her output was substantial. Dickens discovered her resilient strength of character when trying to impose his views on her as editor of Household Words. She proved that she was not to be bullied, even by such a strong-willed man.

Her later works, Sylvia’s Lovers (1863), Cousin Phillis (1864) and Wives and Daughters (1866) reveal that she was continuing to develop her writing in new literary directions. Elizabeth Gaskell died suddenly in November 1865.

Author Image: Elizabeth Gaskell - CORBIS/Hulton-Deutsch Collection

Featured Books, with extracts, by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford
Elizabeth Gaskell
Gaskell's best known work is set in a small rural town, inhabited largely by women. This is a community that runs on cooperation and gossip, at the very heart of which are the daughters of the former rector: Miss Deborah...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 30/06/2005
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Mary Barton
Elizabeth Gaskell
Mary Barton, the daughter of disillusioned trade unionist, rejects her working-class lover Jem Wilson in the hope of marrying Henry Carson, the mill owner's son, and making a better life for herself and her father. But when Henry is shot...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 31/10/1996
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