Christmas with the Gaskells

posted in: Gaskell family, history | 0

With Christmas only weeks away, Dr Diane Duffy looks at how Elizabeth Gaskell prepared for and celebrated Christmas through the years. Despite the fact that Unitarians did not recognise the divinity of Christ, Christmas as a time of peace, love … Continued

Marriage and Family Life

posted in: Diane Duffy, Gaskell family | 0

Diane Duffy continues her investigation into the lives and families of William Gaskell’s parents. See also Margaret Gaskell and Wiliam Gaskell Senior. The marriage between William and Margaret took place in 1803, two years before the birth of their first child, … Continued

William Gaskell Senior 1777-1819

posted in: Diane Duffy, Gaskell family | 0

Diane Duffy continues her investigation into the lives and families of William Gaskell’s parents. See also Margaret Gaskell. The Gaskell family had originated in Upholland where the records go back to the beginning of the seventeenth century. Cairo Street Unitarian Chapel … Continued

Lockdown Reads – Part 2

posted in: books, Literature | 0

Again, I hope that everyone is keeping safe, well and entertained. Gaskell Society members have been sharing their current and favourite lockdown reads and a few recommendations for great telly (for those of you in the UK). If you’re in search … Continued

Lockdown Reads – Part 1

posted in: books, Literature | 0

One of the few silver linings to the Covid cloud that’s currently hanging over us is (for many of us) more time to read, and as we are members of a literary society, we seem to be embracing this with … Continued

Fever in Eccleston! Ruth, Chapter 33

posted in: Literature, Ruth, works | 0

While reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Ruth in connection with another project, I came across some passages that seemed uncannily apt to our own situation – the Great Fever of 2020. As the text wends its way towards a conclusion, fever strikes, … Continued

The Women of Cranford – Part 2

posted in: Cranford, women, works | 0

Cranford is presented as an isolated community rooted in the past and inwardly focused on the minutiae of domestic routine and etiquette, yet the town has a railway; a dynamic force which undercuts the inward focus and inertia of this … Continued

The Women of Cranford – Part 1

posted in: Cranford, women, works | 0

For April’s ‘This Month in Writing’ I have chosen to discuss Cranford as two episodes of the story were published in Household Words in April 1852 and April 1853. These were ‘Visiting at Cranford’ and ‘Stopped payment at Cranford’.  However, … Continued

A Dark Night’s Work

Published in 1863, ‘A Dark Night’s Work’ was first serialised in Dickens’ periodical All The Year Round between January and March 1862. Despite its title, it is predominantly a psychological exploration of class, parental expectations, love and duty, a domestic tale! … Continued

What is There to Tell?

posted in: Literature, This month in writing | 0

‘Mr. Harrison’s Confession’ was serialised in the Ladies Companion and Monthly Magazine between February and April 1851. The title is intriguing because it suggests any number of possible misdemeanours that this gentleman may have committed, our imagination is allowed to … Continued

Oh my Prophetic Soul!

posted in: history, Literature, silverdale | 0

Diane Duffy looks tells the story of a tragic drowning in Silverdale in 1850, which echoed a story written by Elizabeth Gaskell three years before. While it would be good to think Elizabeth Gaskell could add the power of a … Continued

This Month in Writing – January

posted in: Literature | 0

‘The Grey Woman’ Published January 1861 in volume IV of Charles Dickens’  All the Year Round January is a dull month after the Christmas festivities, so what could be better than brightening these cold winter days with a good Gothic … Continued

This Month in Writing – November

posted in: Literature | 0

‘The Well of Pen – Morfa’, November 1850 In the autumn of 1850, the year that Elizabeth Gaskell and her family took up residence at 42, Plymouth Grove, Charles Dickens published the second of Gaskell’s contributions to Household Words-‘The Well of … Continued

Cousin Phillis

posted in: Elizabeth Gaskell, Literature | 0

Gaskell’s last novella, Cousin Phillis, was published in The Cornhill Magazine in 1863, only two years before she died.  In this story she returns to her beloved Knutsford, now named Eltham, and her grandfather’s farm at Sandlebridge, renamed Heathbridge.  Gaskell’s … Continued

This Month in Writing – October

posted in: Literature, This month in writing | 0

Mary Barton – the book that divided a nation 1848 was the year of revolution. A series of political upheavals took place across Europe.  Their aim was ostensibly to remove the old monarchical structures and create independent nation-states. In February, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels … Continued

Gaskell Service 2019

posted in: Elizabeth Gaskell, Knutsford | 0

Every year, on a Sunday close to what would have been Elizabeth Gaskell’s birthday, we head to Brook Street Chapel in Knutsford to lay flowers on the Gaskell family grave and on the grave of Joan Leach, the Gaskell Society … Continued

The Old Nurse’s Story

posted in: Elizabeth Gaskell, works | 0

‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ can be found in collections of Gothic stories, ghost stories and tales of the macabre, something which might seem odd for a woman who was the wife of a Unitarian minister and, as a Unitarian, a … Continued

Women in Science

posted in: biography, Diane Duffy, Science | 0

The Gaskell Society recently received a question via Twitter concerning connections between Molly Gibson (Wives and Daughters) and Eleanor Omerod, an entomologist. Omerod was born in Gloucestershire in 1828, moving to Torquay, then Isleworth and finally St Albans where she … Continued

Confessions of a Nervous Chair….

posted in: Conference, Libby Tempest | 0

It’s hard to imagine a more nerve-wracking scenario than Newish Chairwoman organising and chairing her first conference for such a well-respected literary society as the Gaskell Society. NOT helped by a history of well-organised, enjoyable, academically stimulating previous conferences stretching … Continued

The Gaskell Revival

Elizabeth Gaskell, the wife of a Unitarian minister of religion in Manchester, shared her husband’s interest in literature: they published some jointly written verses in 1837.  Elizabeth became a best-selling novelist almost by chance. Grieved by the death of her baby … Continued

A celebration – and a secret!

posted in: journal, Manchester, Meetings | 0

On 31st May 2019, the Gaskell Society held a joint celebration at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester.  Members of the Gaskell Society committee joined with past and present editors of the Gaskell Journal to launch the long-awaited Index of the first thirty … Continued

The Elizabeth Gaskell Train

posted in: Elizabeth Gaskell, Manchester | 0

From the Northern Rail website A train, named after Elizabeth Gaskell, was unveiled at Manchester’s Piccadilly Station on 28 February 2014. A ceremony, organised in conjunction with Mid-Cheshire Community Rail Partnership, saw Northern’s Managing Director, Alex Hynes and George Osborne MP unveil the … Continued