The Gaskell Society and its partners host a year-round programme of meetings and special events, most of which are open to everyone. We’re very friendly – and we’d love to meet you, whether or not you choose to join the Society. 

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Reading the Nineteenth Century 3 – Tess of the D’Urbevilles

Wednesday 25 March, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


A new, five-part evening reading course at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House – enter the world of fallen women in the Victorian novel.

When a women’s virtue is compromised, what choices lie open to her? Whose fault is it that she falls in the first place? And what will happen to the children born as a result?

To answer these questions, Sherry Ashworth, Visiting Teaching fellow at Manchester Writing School, will lead you into the turbulent fictional lives of these Nineteenth-Century women, with the spotlight on five classic novels.

You’ll start by reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth, written right there in the House, followed by George Eliot’s Adam Bede, written just 6 years later. Then the focus will turn to three novels from the end of the century, to see if things were any better – Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, George Gissing’s The Unclassed and George Moore’s Esther Waters. 

The workshops are perfect for the general reader who wants to explore their reading a little more deeply. You can sign up to all five sessions, or come to individual sessions, as suits your interests. Participants will be expected to read the books ahead of the monthly discussions, and to share their ideas with the rest of the group.

The workshops run from 7-9pm on Wednesdays

Each session is £10, or £45 for all five sessions

25 March: Thomas Hardy’s Tess of The D’Urbervilles

22 April: George Gissing’s The Unclassified

27 May:  George Moore’s Esther Waters


Wednesday 25 March, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
0161 273 2215


Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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0161 273 2215

As you’ll appreciate, arrangements can change, so please be sure to check details before you leave home.