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Manchester Meeting – Gaskell and the Fairy Tale
5 December, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm£5 – £6
Elizabeth Gaskell’s interest in the fairy tale and her use of fairy-tale motifs throughout her writing have been curiously neglected by scholars. The fairy tale, like the Gothic and the ghostly, operates in a world of magic realism, its conventions straddling two worlds in which the supernatural is accepted as normal in an apparently realistic setting. Like the Gothic and the ghostly, the fairy tale offered Gaskell the opportunity to explore the transgressive and the strange. Within the genre of the fairy tale, the supernatural can be both disruptive and violent and, like the Gothic, its conventions came to be used by women writers, as well as Gaskell, as a way of expressing repressed anger. The weird and the uncanny breaking into the world of the everyday enables Gaskell to unlock and address instability, conflict and guilt as well as to critique social conventions.
Carolyn Lambert is an independent scholar. She was awarded her doctorate by the University of Sussex in 2013. Publications include The Meanings of Home in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Fiction (Victorian Secrets: 2013), For Better, For Worse: Marriage in Victorian Novels by Women (Routledge: 2018), co-edited with Marion Shaw, Frances Trollope, (Edward Everett Root: 2020) and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Smaller Stories (Palgrave Macmillan: 2022). Carolyn is currently Letters Recorder for the Gaskell Society.
The talk begins at 1.30pm. We’ll have tea, coffee and mince pies to share!
All are welcome – both members and non-members. Member tickets are £5, non-members £6.