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.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Reception Anne Marsh
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography notes AM 's very high contemporary reputation. It cites the London Weekly Chronicle and Margaret Oliphant each hailing her, in her heyday, as a leader among women novelists (though...
Reception Julia Wedgwood
Her father discouraged her from writing any more fiction after this. She abandoned a third novel, notwithstanding Elizabeth Gaskell 's urging her to continue.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Reception Flora Macdonald Mayor
The novel established FMM 's reputation for precise use of prose,
“The Times Digital Archive 1785-2007”. Thompson Gale: The Times Digital Archive.
60741 (4 October 1980): 8
received good reviews, and very nearly won the Polignac Prize.
Williams, Merryn. Six Women Novelists, Macmillan, 1987.
FMM was judged sensitive yet detached, firm and...
Reception Marie Belloc Lowndes
Again Harold Hannyngton Child approved this work, calling it the story of a great passion told with delicacy and power, a combination which is none too common.
Child, Harold H. “Barbara Rebell”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 197, p. 350.
In 1923 MBL wrote that years after...
Reception Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna
Along with The Wrongs of Woman, Helen Fleetwood is the best known title in CET 's extensive oeuvre. It is often included in critical discussions of Victorian industrial fiction, along with Gaskell 's Mary...
Reception Geraldine Jewsbury
Many readers, including George Henry Lewes , were suspicious of this novel's sympathetic portrait of manufacturers, and speculated that Marian Withers was Jewsbury's response to Elizabeth Gaskell 's Mary Barton, which had presented factory...
Reception Charlotte Maria Tucker
CMT , whose works sold very well, was regarded as a major female author during the mid-Victorian period. She was incensed when in 1882 some one wrote a sketch of her life, and requested her...
Residence Alison Uttley
AU and her husband first settled in the seventeenth-century Old Vicarage at Knutsford in Cheshire. Knutsford was, of course, the setting of Elizabeth Gaskell 's Cranford, and to AU 's delight, the Old...
Residence Charlotte Brontë
In early April 1820, the Brontës moved to Haworth, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where their father took up the position of perpetual curate. Despite the depiction of the village as an isolated...
Residence Anne Brontë
Despite the depiction of the village as an isolated, primitive place full of uneducated, violent inhabitants (by Elizabeth Gaskell in her Life of Charlotte Brontë), it was a busy mill town of about 4,500...
Residence Geraldine Jewsbury
GJ and her brother Frank first set up house at 4 Lloyd Street in Manchester. They then, in 1843, moved to 30 Carlton Terrace, Greenheys Lane in a village called Greenheys, near Manchester...
Residence Selina Davenport
Both during and after her marriage SD lived at Knutsford in Cheshire (which was not only her husband's home but also the original of the town in Gaskell 's Cranford, published in volume form...
Textual Features Isabella Banks
IB describes the same industrial, working-class Manchester that novelists like Elizabeth Gaskell and social investigators like Friedrich Engels and Dr James P. Kay-Shuttleworth had already made famous in works such as Gaskell's Mary Barton...
Textual Features Adelaide Procter
Milly's Expiation is interestingly reminiscent of Elizabeth Gaskell 's North and South, 1855 (to which the Athenæum compared it), and anticipatory of George Eliot 's Felix Holt, 1866. Milly is an idealised elder...
Textual Features Shena Mackay
The stories here deal with all kinds of complexity and nuance in the sisterly relationship. The collection ends, as the introduction begins, with Christina Rossetti 's Goblin Market. The nineteenth century is further represented...


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