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Elizabeth Gaskell

From Academic Kids

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (September 29, 1810, LondonNovember 12, 1865, Holybourne, Hampshire, England, UK), often referred to simply as Mrs Gaskell, was a British novelist.

Contents

Life

She was born Elizabeth Stevenson in London in 1810. Her mother Eliza, the niece of the potter Josiah Wedgwood, died when she was a child. Her father, William Stevenson was a Unitarian minister. Much of her childhood was spent in Cheshire, where she lived with an aunt in Knutsford, a town she would later immortalise as Cranford. She also spent some time in Newcastle and Edinburgh. Her stepmother was a sister of the Scottish miniature artist, W. J. Thomson, who painted a famous portrait of Elizabeth in 1832. In the same year, she married William Gaskell, a minister at Cross Street Unitarian Chapel who had a literary career of his own. They settled in Manchester where the industrial surroundings would offer inspiration for her novels. The circles in which they moved included religious dissenters and social reformers, including William and Mary Howitt.

Mrs Gaskell's first novel, Mary Barton, was published anonymously in 1848. The best-known of her remaining novels are Cranford (1853), North and South (1855), and Wives and Daughters (1865). She was a friend of Charles Dickens, and wrote the first biography of Charlotte Brontė, which played a significant role in developing her fellow writer's reputation.

Mrs Gaskell today ranks as one of the most highly-regarded British novelists of the Victorian era.

Publications

Novels

Collections

  • The Moorland Cottage (1850)
  • The Old Nurse's Story (1852)
  • Lizzie Leigh (1855)
  • My Lady Ludlow (1859)
  • Round the Sofa (1859)
  • Lois the Witch (1861)
  • A Dark Night's Work (1863)
  • Cousin Phillis (1863)

Non-fiction

  • The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857)


External links

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