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In Manchester Elizabeth wrote her remaining literary works, while her husband held welfare committees and tutored the poor in his study. The Gaskells' social circle included writers, journalists, religious dissenters and social reformers such as William and Mary Howitt and Harriet Martineau. In early Gaskell wrote to Charles Dickens asking for advice about assisting a girl named Pasley whom she had visited in prison.

Pasley provided her with a model for the title character of Ruth in Lizzie Leigh was published in March and April , in the first numbers of Dickens's journal Household Words , in which many of her works were to be published, including Cranford and North and South , her novella My Lady Ludlow , and short stories.

This played a significant role in developing Gaskell's own literary career. Wives and Daughters was published in book form in early , first in the United States and then, ten days later, in Britain. Gaskell's reputation from her death to the s was epitomized by Lord David Cecil 's assessment in Early Victorian Novelists that she was "all woman" and "makes a creditable effort to overcome her natural deficiencies but all in vain" quoted in Stoneman, , from Cecil, p.

A scathing, unsigned review of North and South in The Leader accused Gaskell of making errors about Lancashire which a resident of Manchester would not make and said that a woman or clergymen and women could not "understand industrial problems", would "know too little about the cotton industry" and had no "right to add to the confusion by writing about it".


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Gaskell's novels, with the exception of Cranford , gradually slipped into obscurity during the late 19th century; before , she was dismissed as a minor author with good judgment and "feminine" sensibilities. Archie Stanton Whitfield wrote that her work was "like a nosegay of violets, honeysuckle, lavender, mignonette and sweet briar" in However, the critical tide began to turn in Gaskell's favour when, in the s and 60s, socialist critics like Kathleen Tillotson , Arnold Kettle and Raymond Williams re-evaluated the description of social and industrial problems in her novels see Moore, [15] for an elaboration , and—realising that her vision went against the prevailing views of the time—saw it as preparing the way for vocal feminist movements.

Matus stresses the author's growing stature in Victorian literary studies and how her innovative, versatile storytelling addressed the rapid changes during her lifetime. The house on Plymouth Grove remained in the Gaskell family until , after which it stood empty and fell into disrepair. The University of Manchester acquired it in and in it was acquired by the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, which then raised money to restore it. Exterior renovations were completed in and the house is now open to the public.

It takes the form of a panel in the Hubbard memorial window, above the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer. The panel was dedicated by her great-great-great-granddaughter Sarah Prince and a wreath was laid. Manchester City Council have created an award in Gaskell's name, given to recognise women's involvement in charitable work and improvement of lives.

Gaskell's first novel, Mary Barton , was published anonymously in The best-known of her remaining novels are Cranford , North and South , and Wives and Daughters She became popular for her writing, especially her ghost stories, aided by Charles Dickens , who published her work in his magazine Household Words. Her ghost stories are in the " Gothic " vein, making them quite distinct from her "industrial" fiction. Even though her writing conforms to Victorian conventions, including the use of the name "Mrs Gaskell", she usually framed her stories as critiques of contemporary attitudes.

The life and works of Elizabeth Gaskell

Her early works focused on factory work in the Midlands. She usually emphasised the role of women, with complex narratives and realistic female characters.

She then felt qualified to write a book on one of the greatest authors of all time, smoothing over patches in her life that were too rough for the sophisticated society woman. Unitarianism urges comprehension and tolerance toward all religions and even though Gaskell tried to keep her own beliefs hidden, she felt strongly about these values which permeated her works; in North and South , "Margaret the Churchwoman, her father the Dissenter , Higgins the Infidel , knelt down together.

It did them no harm. Gaskell's style is notable for putting local dialect words into the mouths of middle-class characters and the narrator. In North and South Margaret Hale suggests redding up tidying the Bouchers' house and even offers jokingly to teach her mother words such as knobstick strike-breaker.

Elizabeth Gaskell - Wikipedia

I can't find any other word to express the exact feeling of strange unusual desolate discomfort, and I sometimes "potter" and "mither" people by using it. She also used the dialect word " nesh " soft , which goes back to Old English , in Mary Barton :. Sit you down here: the grass is well nigh dry by this time; and you're neither of you nesh folk about taking cold.

Source: [33]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Elizabeth Gaskell. Elizabeth Gaskell: miniature by William John Thomson. Retrieved 9 December Cambridge University Press. Gaskell: Novelist and Biographer. Manchester University Press. Oxford University Press. Introduction to The Manchester Marriage. UK: Alan Sutton. The Gaskell Society.

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Retrieved 25 April The Independent. Archived from the original on 30 September The Spectator. The Romantic Impulse in Victorian Fiction. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, , p. Duxford: Icon Books.

Elizabeth Gaskell Literary Life by Foster Shirley

Gaskell, Her Life and Works. Archived from the original on 1 June Retrieved 14 June Bloomington: Indiana University Press. The Cambridge companion to Elizabeth Gaskell repr. CS1 maint: extra text: authors list link , p. Retrieved 1 December BBC News. Archived from the original on 19 August Manchester Evening News.

Retrieved 26 January New York, London: W. DDC LC PR Women of Words. Frankfort, Germany: Courage Books. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Elizabeth was true to her word and was a sociable and energetic hostess; the house was always bustling, with a stream of visitors which included many eminent people of the day. She had an exceptionally busy and active family and social life, and was still engaged in many works of charity. Elizabeth was an active humanitarian; her novels convey many messages about the need for social reconciliation, for better understanding between employers and workers and between the respectable and the outcasts of society.

Her writing was carefully researched, and she took particular care in reproducing northern dialects accurately. Elizabeth Gaskell as we prefer to call her was actually courageous and progressive in her style and subject matter, and often framed her stories as critiques of Victorian attitudes particularly those towards women.

Elizabeth Gaskell loved to travel and was always keen to escape the smoky atmosphere of Manchester. An independent spirit, she also ventured abroad most years, travelling to France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. She was usually accompanied by at least one of her daughters, rather than her husband, as William preferred to holiday alone.. She was, at the same time, a caring wife and mother, attractive and well-liked.

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell Life & Works

At ease in any company, she was chatty, sociable and a prolific writer of letters. Although they shared many artistic concerns, Elizabeth had a difficult working relationship with Charles Dickens who, as editor, often wanted to alter what she wrote. Mrs Gaskell-fearful-fearful! If I were Mr G.

Bibliographic Information

Oh heavens how I would beat her! Elizabeth Gaskell timeline. Elizabeth Gaskell Biography.