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Gaskell Society

On September 29, 1985, the 175th anniversary of Elizabeth Gaskell's birth was commemorated in Knutsford by a literary lunch and other events which led to the formation of the Gaskell society.
The Society is based in Knutsford, with its many Gaskell associations, especially as Cranford, and as Hollingford in Wives and Daughters. Here she spent a happy childhood at Heathwaite no 17, now Gaskell Avenue, was married in the Parish Church and is buried in the graveyard of the three hundred year old Unitarian Brook Street Chapel surrounded by her ancestors' graves. Mrs Gaskell's house at 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, belongs to the University of Manchester. The Gaskell Memorial Tower, situated at the Bellel Epoque Restaurant, stands as a memorial to her in Knutsford town centre.
The Society offers a Journal, News letters, visits, meetings and conferences, lectures and tours.

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The novelist and biographer Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810 to 1865), was brought up by her aunt in Knutsford, Cheshire.

The Elizabeth Gaskell Series on Virtual-KnutsfordMrs Gaskell's literary output was varied, and included not only numerous short stories, tales of mystery, murder and the supernatural, the anecdotal and amusing Cranford, for which she is perhaps best known, Mary Barton which deals with unemployment, drug addiction and poverty, Ruth the story of an unmarried mother; and the novel North and South, set in Manchester.

The Life of Charlotte Bronte, was a pioneer work of literary biography; Sylvia's Lovers, a historical novel about Whitby; Cousin Phillis, a love story set in the Cheshire countryside; and the novel she had almost completed when she died in 1865, Wives and Daughters. Her letters are full of interest, detail and wit, and make fascinating reading, although none to her husband survive.

Articles on Elizabeth Gaskell's life and writings:
       Heathwaite and Heath House 'Local associations with Elizabeth Gaskell by Thomas Beswick" Entrance to Tatton Park
       Wives & Daughters  'Wives and Daughters', Mrs. Gaskell's last novel, is also incomparably her richest and most satisfying... Wives & Daughters
       Controversy and Attack  'North and South' is the second to deal with an industrial theme, and in many ways is Mrs. Gaskell's most interesting book... Charlotte Bronte
       Cranford, Novels and Morals From its first page, 'Cranford' had the grace, clarity and acute perception that go to make a classic... Cranford
       Married Life In Manchester Although Elizabeth and her husband were both Unitarians, the wedding took place in Knutsford Parish Church... Mary Barton
       Early Years And Marriage It is often strange how the ideas we have of people are affected by small and often irrelevant facts. The name of Mrs Gaskell... Tabley House
Books by Elizabeth Gaskell

To order any of the above mentioned titles, or to see more by or about the author click here


© Some images appearing in The Elizabeth Gaskell Series are copyright and may not be used without permission. Special thanks to Val Boston-Davies for permission to use these images.


Wives & Daughters

the long running drama series on PBS, will broadcast "Wives and Daughters" airing on PBS April 1 to 22, 2001 at 9pm ET
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More Gaskell Info

Further information on Elizabeth Gaskell and many other links can be found at:
the gaskell web