Elizabeth Gaskell wrote some of the most enduring novels of the Victorian age.
In Elizabeth Gaskell, Jenny Uglow traces the writer’s youth in rural Knutsford, her married years in tension-ridden Manchester and her wide network of friends in London, Europe and America. She emerges as an artist of complexity, shrewdly observing the political, religious and feminist arguments of nineteenth-century Britain. High-spirited, witty and passionate, she enjoyed social and family life but she was also distracted by her need to write down the truth of what she saw.
‘String is my foible’
A tarnished silver teapot. A tin of buttons, their parent garments long decayed. A bundle of yellowing letters, in my mother’s hand. Look: here she is, smiling in her nurse’s uniform in the...Read more
Having a Good Cry
‘The saddest story I ever wrote,’ Mrs Gaskell said of Sylvia’s Lovers, published in 1863. The book had been languishing in my daughter’s bookcase for years, bought (but not read) to encourage...Read more