The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

Officers and Committee

“When God gives a blessing to be enjoyed, He gives it with a duty to be done.”

Mary Barton, Chapter XXXVII (1848) – 

Patron – Sarah Prince

Sarah Prince is a firm friend and supporter of the Gaskell Society. She (along with her brother and her two daughters) are Elizabeth Gaskell’s only direct descendants through her eldest daughter, Marianne. Sarah is the author’s great-great-great-granddaughter. 

President – Dr Shirley Foster

Shirley Foster is Honorary Senior Research Fellow, retired Reader in English and American Literature, at the University of Sheffield. Her academic interests are the nineteenth-century English and American novel, and travel writing and she has published works on all these subjects. Her most recent works include an anthology of women’s travel writing and a literary life of Elizabeth Gaskell; as well as articles on Gaskell, American visitors to Britain, and literary tourism. She has also edited Sylvia’s Lovers (Penguin) and Mary Barton (Oxford). Dr Foster is currently working on Henry James and others of his compatriots in Italy.

Vice-President – Francesco Marroni

Professor of English at G. S Annunzio University, in Pescara, Italy, where he is Director of the Centro Studi Vittoriani e Edoardiani. Professor Marroni has written books about George Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, Henry James and Elizabeth Gaskell. He is a distinguished writer of short fiction in his own country, and has published several volumes of his stories.

Vice-President – Jenny Uglow

Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Editorial Director Chatto and Windus.  She is the author of the critically-acclaimed biography Elizabeth Gaskell a Habit of Stories, also Hogarth, Cultural Babbage, The Lunar Men; Jenny is a historical consultant for the BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial and writes reviews for radio, the Times Literary Supplement, The Sunday Times and The Guardian

Chair – Dr Diane Duffy

Diane taught English literature in a number of schools, and along the way supported her first degree with an MA and a PhD from the University of Manchester, focusing on Victorian women writers. She is a tireless supporter, speaker, volunteer and friend for both the Society and Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. 

Vice-Chair – Libby Tempest

Treasurer – Clive Heath

Secretary – Pam Griffiths

Membership Secretary – Jackie Tucker

Minutes Secretary – Celia Crew

Committee Members

Anthony Burton

Rosemary Donaldson

John Greenwood

Linsey Parkinson

Jane Wilkshire


Journal Editors – Dr Rebecca Styler and Dr Ben Moore

Newsletter Editor – John Greenwood

Website Manager – Linsey Parkinson