The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

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Manchester Meeting – Elizabeth Gaskell’s Visit to Chatsworth

Tuesday 7 March, 2023, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm GMT

£5 – £6

‘I feel more like Cinderella, than anyone else you can imagine’: Elizabeth Gaskell’s visit to Chatsworth

On Saturday 12 September 1857, Elizabeth Gaskell and her daughter Meta were amongst many tourists arriving at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire with their printed admission tickets. Their tour of the house was interrupted by an invitation to stay for luncheon and an announcement that rooms were being made ready for them as guests of the 6th Duke of Devonshire!!

This talk, by Fran Baker,  explores Gaskell’s memorable account of her experience at Chatsworth, and also examines what the episode can tell us about her professionalism as an author, the relationship between writers and aristocratic patrons in the age of the professional writer, and the rise of literary tourism as a leisure pursuit alongside country house visiting.

Fran Baker is the Archivist & Librarian at Chatsworth, the historic house in Derbyshire which is home to the Devonshire family. Previously she worked at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, where she curated the literary archives (including the papers of Elizabeth Gaskell) and the social/political history archives, as well as leading on digital archives. Her MPhil, published in 2004, focused on Elizabeth Gaskell, and she has written several articles on the topic of Gaskell and her manuscripts. She has enjoyed uncovering some Gaskell links in the archives at Chatsworth.


Doors open at 1pm – the chapel will be selling tea and coffee and you are most welcome to bring a packed lunch! The talk begins at 1.30pm.

All are welcome – both members and non-members.

You can access a recording of the talk (for a small charge), here


Tuesday 7 March, 2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm GMT
£5 – £6
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Cross Street Chapel
Cross Street,
Manchester, M2 1NL United Kingdom
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