The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

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Knutsford Meeting – March 2023

Tuesday 28 March, 2023, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm BST

£5 – £6

Our discussion series for 2022-23 looks at Wives and Daughters. First published in serial form in the Cornhill Magazine, between August 1864 and January 1866, Wives and Daughters was unfinished when Elizabeth died suddenly in 1865. This is many people’s favourite Gaskell novel, which perhaps shows how her writing was getting better and better. We can only wonder at what she might have gone on to accomplish.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Gibson worships her widowed father. But when he decides to remarry, Molly’s life is thrown off course by the arrival of her vain, shallow and selfish stepmother. There is some solace in the shape of her new stepsister Cynthia, who is beautiful, sophisticated and irresistible to every man she meets. Soon the girls become close, and Molly finds herself cajoled into becoming a go-between in Cynthia’s love affairs. But in doing so, Molly risks ruining her reputation in the gossiping village of Hollingford – and jeopardising everything with the man she is secretly in love with.

In this fifth session, Dr Diane Duffy will lead a discussion on chapters 41-50 inclusive. Read Diane’s Points to Ponder here. 

Find some lovely quotes from these chapters of the novel here.

Our monthly meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month, between October and April (except December). Bring your own packed lunch from 1pm and then enjoy a friendly and informal talk and discussion, led by Dr Diane Duffy, 2-3pm.

Everyone is most welcome. £5 members, £6 non-members

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