The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

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Autumn Meeting 2021

Saturday 25 September, 2021, 10:30 am - 1:00 pm BST

£5 – £6
The Joan Leach Memorial Lecture

Stubborn Facts from the Factories: James Leach & the Industrial Background to Mrs Gaskell’s Fiction.

We’re delighted to welcome Dr Mike Sanders, who’ll deliver the Joan Leach Memorial Lecture at our Autumn meeting – our first ‘live’ meeting since since March 2020! We can’t wait to see you all again! We’ll also be recording the talk for ticket holders to watch online.
Stubborn Facts from the Factories was first published by ‘A Manchester Operative’ in 1844. Its author, James Leach, was a prominent Chartist and a friend of the young Friedrich Engels. Born in Wigan, Leach moved to Manchester in 1826 and worked as a power-loom weaver until 1839 when he was dismissed for leading resistance to a pay cut. Leach played a key role in bringing Chartism and the Trades Unions together, and was arrested and tried as one of the leaders of the 1842 strike wave which followed the rejection of the second Chartist petition. This talk focuses on Stubborn Facts from the Factories as a way of exploring the industrial background to Mrs Gaskell’s fiction.
Dr Mike Sanders is a Senior Lecturer in 19th Century Writing at the University of Manchester. He is the author of The Poetry of Chartism and is currently working on the AHRC-funded project Piston, Pen & Press.
10.30am – Coffee
11am – ‘Stubborn Facts from the Factories: James Leach & the Industrial Background to Mrs Gaskell’s Fiction’ by Dr Mike Sanders –
12noon – Bring your own picnic lunch. Tea/coffee will be available.
1pm – Finish
Please note: our recent Zoom meetings have been so popular that we’ve decided to record the session and post it online for international members and anyone who can’t get to Knutsford.  Your ticket will give you access to the both the meeting room and the online recording (which won’t be publicly available).
Cost: £5 members, £6 non-members.

Book now


Saturday 25 September, 2021
10:30 am - 1:00 pm BST
£5 – £6
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Knutsford Methodist Church
Princess Street
Knutsford, WA16 6BY United Kingdom
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