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Audiobooks by Elizabeth Gaskell

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BBC Classics: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre & Cranford

BBC Classics: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre & Cranford

Unabridged readings of three of the greatest novels of all time This timeless collection brings together three of the finest works in the literary canon, read in full by some of the very best audiobook narrators. With over 38 hours of unmissable storytelling, tracked by chapter so you can easily find your place, this is the ideal way to enjoy these classic masterpieces. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen's universally acknowledged romance charts the love story between pretty, witty Elizabeth Bennett and handsome, arrogant Fitzwilliam Darcy. Read by Clare Corbett. Jane Eyre Orphan Jane falls head over heels in love with the brooding, mysterious Mr Rochester in Charlotte Brontë's coming-of-age classic about secrets and lies. Read by Katherine Press. Cranford Elizabeth Gaskell's much-loved portrait of life in a Cheshire town and its female inhabitants, as they cope with the impact of change on their small world. Read by Carolyn Pickles. Credits: Pride and Prejudice Read by Clare Corbett Produced by Justine Willett First broadcast on BBC Sounds, 24 August 2019 Jane Eyre Read by Katherine Press Produced by Anne Bunting First broadcast on BBC Sounds, 24 August 2019 Cranford Read by Carolyn Pickles Produced by Julian Wilkinson First broadcast on BBC Sounds, 1 November 2019 (p) 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd © 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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Cranford

Cranford

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Mandy Gasson Release Date: 01/04/2021

“I'll not listen to reason...Reason always means what someone else has got to say.” Enjoy the saga of a small town’s idiosyncrasies and values in Cranford, a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, author of North and South. In a small town called Cranford, everyone knows everyone’s business. As families and individuals live their lives in the small Victorian town, they are challenged to change and adapt to new social customs instead of ascribing to out-of-date customs and ideals. This novel is presented in vignettes and short sketches that show the humorous bits of living in Cranford, rather than having a particular plot. Main characters include: Mary Smith as the narrator; the Jenkyns family, who, with their friends, represent “the old ways” of Cranford; and the impoverished Brown family, whose arrival in the town is the precipitating action for many of the social changes early in the novel. Cranford, like many other novels of the day, was written as a series of magazine articles, and the divisions between the segments make the narrative more understandable. The book is often cited as being “structureless,” with the main structure being the individual vignettes that follow a particular few characters and events at a time. The novel reached popularity after Gaskell’s passing, and has been adapted for film and television several times.

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The Ghost in the Garden Room

The Ghost in the Garden Room

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Ghizela Rowe, Mark Rice-Oxley Release Date: 01/02/2021

Elizabeth Stevenson was born in Chelsea in London on 29th September 1810. Both parents embedded their strong Unitarian beliefs into Elizabeth who rebelliously was often reluctant to display these religious convictions. The early death of Elizabeth's mother saw her sent away to be brought up by her maternal aunt in Knutsford, Cheshire. Her father now remarried but Elizabeth spent most of her childhood in Cheshire away from her father and his new family but was supportive towards her half-siblings. Elizabeth's aunt encouraged her education and particularly to read and express herself through writing. In 1828, her brother John, who worked in the merchant navy, disappeared on a journey to India. This disastrous loss depressed her father, and she went to his household to nurse him for the next year before he died. In 1832, she fell in love with William Gaskell, a Unitarian minister like her father, and married him. They settled in Manchester. This booming industrial city had a great impact on Elizabeth who felt the need to speak up for poor workers and their exploitation by large industrial companies. A collection of poems and short stories, 'Sketches among the Poor' appeared in 1837, co-authored by her husband. Her first major work, under a pseudonym, was 'Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life' published in 1848.During her career she worked continually with Charles Dickens and published much in his various magazines. With him she published 'Lizzie Leigh' in 1850 which dealt with the taboo subject of prostitution. She was an excellent writer and impressed her many Victorian literary peers. Much of her writing reflects her work as a social critic highlighting the exploitation of the working class and the situation of women in society. On 12th November 1865, Elizabeth Gaskell died in Holybourne, Hampshire, after suffering from a heart attack a month earlier.

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The Haunted House

The Haunted House

Whilst writer Charles Dickens needs no introduction, his 'Haunted House' anthology might, not least because in his role as editor he introduces a formidable array of known and lesser-known literary talents. Dickens started a tradition of releasing stories each Christmas with 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843. 'The Haunted House' was his 1859 offering and, as the name suggests, is set in a large house which, as his introductory story explains, is desired by John the narrator, as a temporary country retreat for health reasons. He is made aware of the terror the house holds for the locals but undaunted, he and his sister, Patty, take residence without any servants, save for the deaf stable hand, who is untroubled by the ghostly goings on. John and Patty invite friends to visit and except Patty who keeps her own room, they all draw lots for which rooms they will stay in but agree not to share their experiences of their rooms until the twelfth night.On that night they all gather together to feast on their experiences and share them with each other. The Haunted House is a skillful portmanteau by Dickens, assembling the best literary talent of his age including Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, Hesba Stretton, Adelaide Anne Proctor, George Augustus Sala and, of course, the literary leviathan himself to delight us, scare us and occasionally raise a laugh or two before the next moment of fear and dread come calling.

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Nord et Sud

Nord et Sud

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Emmanuelle Lemée Release Date: 01/01/2021

L’héroïne est Marguerite Hale, fille d’un pasteur du Sud rural qui quitte l’Église d’Angleterre pour des raisons de conscience et emmène sa femme et sa fille dans la ville industrielle de Milton dans le Darkshire (le Pays noir), où on lui propose un travail de professeur privé. Belle, intelligente et cultivée, mais aussi fière et réservée, Marguerite découvre avec horreur l'univers âpre et brutal de la révolution industrielle où patrons et ouvriers s'affrontent dans les premières grèves organisées. Prenant le parti des pauvres dont elle admire le courage et la ténacité, et parmi lesquels elle se fait des amis, elle méprise profondément cette classe de nouveaux riches sans éducation que sont les manufacturiers, dont l'un, John Thornton, grand patron de filatures locales, devient l'élève favori et l'ami de son père.

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North and South

North and South

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Harriet Seed Release Date: 01/12/2020

Margaret Hale, a 19-year-old girl, is returning to her family’s village after living with her Aunt for nearly a decade. Her life is quickly thrown into upheaval upon her return, as her father leaves his vocation as a pastor in the Church of England, and their family is scorned for dissenting. To escape the reputation, the Hales move to Milton, a city experiencing the dramatic changes of the Industrial Revolution, and suffering from the poverty and coarse nature of a manufacturing town. Margaret begins to fall in love with the city and its hard working inhabitants. She gets to know her new neighbors well, including the strict and stern John Thornton, master of the factory. When tragedy strikes the factory, Margaret is stuck between the workers and the managers, and places herself in the line of fire for both groups in an effort to get them to reach a peaceful agreement. North and South has remained as an example of how the early days of the Industrial Revolution felt to those who lived through them, and was written from Elizabeth Gaskell’s personal experience. It explores the tensions of a city becoming run by a system that values profits over people. North and South has inspired and informed other works from the time period, such as those by Charles Dickens, the editor of the original serialized version of the story.

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The Old Nurse's Story

The Old Nurse's Story

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Natalie Chisholm Release Date: 01/11/2020

The narrator - the old nurse of the title - is an old family retainer who has worked in the service of the same family for three generations. She tells the young children about a dark incident that she experienced in the company of the children's mother, when she was a young woman and visiting her mother's ancestral home This story hits all the marks of a classic ghost story: an isolated manor, creepy music sounding from a disused organ, ghostly apparitions begging to be let inside. Despite all the hallmarks of a ghost story, the true horror of the story is in the very real, all-too-capable cruelty people and in their inability to right the wrongs of the past, showing readers how ghosts are not the only beings capable of creating terror.

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Cranford

Cranford

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Prunella Scales Release Date: 01/10/2020

William Collins Books and Decca Records are proud to present ARGO Classics, a historic catalogue of classic fiction read by some of the world’s most renowned voices. Originally released as vinyl records, these expertly abridged and remastered stories are now available to download for the first time. In rural England, a female-dominated community runs on social customs and gossip. At its heart are spinster sisters Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, who must withstand the everyday dramas and hardships of provincial life. Gaskell’s vivid portrayal of 19th century country folk is reinvigorated by the narration of the inimitable Prunella Scales, star of Fawlty Towers.

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Quick Classics Collection: 19th-Century Writers: Cranford, Ivanhoe, Silas Marner

Quick Classics Collection: 19th-Century Writers: Cranford, Ivanhoe, Silas Marner

William Collins Books and Decca Records are proud to present ARGO Classics, a historic catalogue of classic fiction read by some of the world’s most renowned voices. Originally released as vinyl records, these expertly abridged and remastered stories are now available to download for the first time. Three of the finest novels of the 19th Century are brought together in this wide-ranging collection. From the rumblings of provincial England in Silas Marner and Cranford to a wild and dangerous journey across the Holy Lands in Ivanhoe, these classic novels of the Georgian and Victorian period are as relevant and important today as they ever have been. These classic stories are read by Fawlty Towers’ Prunella Scales; The Jewel in the Crown’s Tim Pigott-Smith; and Dame Judi Dench. This collection includes: • Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, read by Prunella Scales • Ivanhoe by Walter Scott, read by Tim Pigott-Smith • Silas Marner by George Eliot, read by Dame Judi Dench

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Wives and Daughters: Penguin Classics

Wives and Daughters: Penguin Classics

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Laura Aikman Release Date: 01/09/2020

Brought to you by Penguin. This Penguin Classic is performed by Laura Aikman. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Pam Norris. Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries a new stepsister, Cynthia, enters Molly's quiet life. Loveable but worldly and troubling, Cynthia's arrival alters Molly's daily life. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford. Wives and Daughters is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life; it offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society (P) Penguin Audio 2020

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Lois the Witch, and Other Gothic Tales

Lois the Witch, and Other Gothic Tales

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Gabrielle De Cuir, Juliet Mills, Justine Eyre, Stefan Rudnicki Release Date: 01/06/2020

In this original collection from Skyboat Media and Blackstone Publishing, Elizabeth Gaskell showcases the height of gothic fiction’s ability to delight in the otherworldly and to dig deep into what truly haunts us. Set against the backdrop of the Salem witch trials, “Lois the Witch” reveals much about the complicity of mankind. Recently orphaned, Lois is forced to leave the English parsonage that had been her home and sail to America. Though she is a God-fearing and honest girl, it seems her identity as the strange, new, English girl is all anyone can see and she becomes a target for the superstitious townsfolk. In “The Grey Woman” we follow a young woman who learns the true nature of her new husband and is forced to flee their isolated home. In “Curious, if True” we are given a peek into a party attended by some very familiar fairy-tale figures. And finally, in “The Doom of the Griffiths” we must wait and see if the prophecy of an old family curse will be fulfilled. A collaborator and friend of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell is a leading figure in Victorian literature. Full contents: “Lois the Witch” – read by Gabrielle de Cuir“The Half-Brothers” – read by Stefan Rudnicki“The Old Nurse’s Story” – read by Justine Eyre“The Grey Woman” – read by Juliet Mills“Curious, if True” – read by Stefan Rudnicki“Disappearances” – read by Juliet Mills“The Doom of the Griffiths” – read by Justine Eyre

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A House to Let

A House to Let

Author: Adelaide Ann Proctor, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins Narrator: Michael Ward Release Date: 01/06/2020

'A House to Let' is a short story by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell and Adelaide Anne Procter. It was originally published in 1858 in the Christmas edition of Dickens' Household Words magazine. Collins wrote the introduction and collaborated with Dickens on the second story and ending, while Gaskell and Proctor wrote the remainder. When elderly Sophonisba moves to London for a change of tone, she notices something unusual about the supposedly unoccupied house to let across the street. She entreaties her friends and confidants to investigate the matter, and they return with a collection of tales of previous occupants, but what exactly is the secret of the mysterious house to let? Narrated by Michael Ward

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