We host a year-round programme of meetings and events – many of which are open to everyone.
10.30 Registration and Tea/Coffee and Biscuits
11.00 The Joan Leach Memorial Lecture
Dr. Shirley Foster: American Visitors to the North The experiences in Manchester and its environs of Gaskell’s American Friends
Elizabeth Gaskell had many American friends and acquaintances, among the most notable being Charles Eliot Norton and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Some – including the aforementioned – visited her in Manchester and recorded their visits in letters, autobiographies or travel writings. Equally interesting are the responses of these Americans to the industrial North of England, a region less on the tourist trail than more popular sites such as Stratford or southern cathedral cities. This talk will look at some American reactions to this area, mainly concentrating on visitors with connections to Gaskell but also mentioning others who came here at this time and noted down their experiences; what they saw often disturbed them and discomforted their romantic preconceptions of England as ‘our old home’.
2.00. Dr Robert Poole: ‘North and South’ : Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Samuel Bamford, and the Preston Strike’.
The long and bitter Preston cotton strike of 1853-4 provided the setting for both Gaskell’s North and South and Dickens’ Hard Times. What is less well-known is that the radical Samuel Bamford, well known to the Gaskells, also wrote about it in dialect. This illustrated lecture looks at this three-cornered literary story, and at the strike itself.
Robert is Guild Research Fellow in History at the University of Central Lancashire.
3.30. (approx) Finish
Cost £15, including lunch, £7.50, Talks only.
Non-members: £17.50 including lunch, £10 Talks only.
Booking details – Booking Form can be downloaded from this link – Booking Form for Autumn Meeting