GASKELL, Elizabeth Cleghorn

(1810 - 1865)

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was born in Chelsea, but after her marriage settled in Manchester, where the city's industrialization provided inspiration for her writing.

Her first novel Mary Barton was published anonymously in 1848 and was praised by the likes of Charles Dickens, who famously referred to her as “my Scherezade.”

Subsequent work included Ruth, whose portrayal of a seduced seamstress provoked some controversy; Cranford, perhaps the author’s most famous work, a carefully observed portrayal of every day events in a small country town and North and South, a tale of the tensions between mill owners and workers.

During a holiday in Windermere Mrs Gaskell befriended Charlotte Brontë and the two became very close, corresponding regularly. In 1857 Gaskell published The Life of Charlotte Bronte, a very careful and sympathetic biography of her dear friend.

Elizabeth Gaskell died suddenly of a heart attack in 1865 while still in the process of finishing her final novel Wives and Daughters.


First editions by Mrs Gaskell can be viewed below.

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 Elizabeth Cleghorn GASKELL

Books by this author

The Life of Charlotte Bronte

GASKELL, Elizabeth Cleghorn