Elizabeth Gaskell

Standard Name: Gaskell, Elizabeth
Birth Name: Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson
Nickname: Lily
Married Name: Elizabeth Gaskell
Indexed Name: Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
Pseudonym: Cotton Mather Mills
Pseudonym: The Author of Mary Barton etc.
Self-constructed Name: E. C. Gaskell
Elizabeth Gaskell , one of the foremost fiction-writers of the mid-Victorian period, produced a corpus of seven novels, numerous short stories, and a controversial biography of Charlotte Brontë . She wrote extensively for periodicals, as well as producing novels directly for the book market, often on issues of burning interest: her industrial novels appeared in the midst of fierce debate over class relations, factory conditions and legislation; Ruth took a fallen woman and mother as its protagonist just as middle-class feminist critique of gender roles emerged. Gaskell occupies a bridging position between Harriet Martineau and George Eliot in the development of the domestic novel.
Photograph of a well-known head-and shoulders drawing of Elizabeth Gaskell by George Richmond, 1851. She looks calmly at the viewer, her smooth hair parted in the middle, with a ribbon or scarf hanging from her head and a bow at her neckline. She thought the drawing on the whole a good likeness. National Portrait Gallery.
"Elizabeth Gaskell" Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Elizabeth_Gaskell.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Literary responses Isabella Neil Harwood
This novel generated a large amount of attention and positive reviews. They all made some points in common: they loved the plot, the way Minnie/Minna's character developed, the originality and the sustained interest it provided...
Literary responses Henrietta Camilla Jenkin
Elizabeth Gaskell later reported that reviews had been good.
Gaskell, Elizabeth. The Letters of Mrs Gaskell. Chapple, J. A. V. and Arthur PollardEditors , Harvard University Press, 1967.
The Athenæum notice, by Geraldine Jewsbury , was moderately favourable, but by calling it the work of a beginner,
Athenæum. J. Lection.
1593 (1858): 593
The Athenaeum Index of Reviews and Reviewers: 1830-1870.
654 (1840): 371-2
Literary responses George Eliot
On the whole reviewers were enthusiastic (E. S. Dallas began his notice in the Times, George Eliot is as great as ever
Carroll, David, editor. George Eliot: The Critical Heritage. Barnes and Noble, 1971.
), but the ending of The Mill on the Floss...
Literary responses Dinah Mulock Craik
Some felt she wrote too much too fast. Elizabeth Gaskell commented in a letter of 1851, I wish she had some other means of support than writing, which must be pumped up instead of bubbling...
Literary responses J. K. Rowling
Of course nobody could review this book without implicit or explicit reference to the Harry Potter books. What, some wondered, would devoted child readers make of the sex and swearing? The novel violently divided commentators...
Literary responses Christina Rossetti
Gabriel anticipated critics when he described Commonplace as a prose tale . . . rather in the Austen vein.
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Doughty, Oswald and John Robert WahlEditors , Clarendon Press, 1967.
2: 818
Contrasting Commonplace, and Other Short Stories with tawdry romance,
Athenæum. J. Lection.
2223 (1870): 734
Literary responses Emily Brontë
Since the early criticism which took its lead from Charlotte's biographical portrait, a biographical and hagiographic industry has arisen around all three Brontë sisters and their home in Haworth. A. Mary F. Robinson published...
Literary responses Flora Thompson
The Country Life reviewer wrote that the trilogy would take a permanent place in English letters for both its individual and social significance.
Lindsay, Gillian. Flora Thompson: The Story of the Lark Rise Writer. Hale, 1996.
Historian Sir Arthur Bryant put it on a level with Gaskell
Literary Setting Mary Louisa Molesworth
This novel is the story of an unhappy marriage. The male protagonist, mentioned twice in the title, proves not to be a good husband. The novel is set in Mallingford, an unflattering portrayal of Knutsford...
Material Conditions of Writing Mary Angela Dickens
The journal All the Year Round, founded by MAD 's grandfather and then edited by her father, was one of the first and most significant platforms for her short stories and serialized novels. Other...
Material Conditions of Writing Charlotte Brontë
CB 's stay in Brussels (as well as contributing eventually to Villette) produced a number of French exercises or devoirs, plus her subsequent letters to Constantin Heger . Four of the letters (of which...
Material Conditions of Writing Harriet Beecher Stowe
HBS used her earlier travels in Europe as material for a travel guide for Americans. She had met Germaine de Staël and Elizabeth Gaskell while in Europe, and had voraciously read everything by George Sand
Occupation Selina Davenport
During her marriage SD worked at running a school, which, however, was far from profitable. She also supported her daughters through her writing, and opened another unsuccessful school at Greenwich after she left her husband....
Occupation Constance Lytton
She undertook some teaching of the girls while she was there, but was not satisfied with her performance, which was hampered by shyness. On her one successful evening she dressed up as Debòrah Jenkyns in...
Occupation Lucy Toulmin Smith
Manchester College (now Harris Manchester College ) had a long and distinguished history as a Dissenting institution (including spells at York and London) before it moved to Oxford in 1889 and into new buildings...


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