The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

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Online Event: Shirley – Charlotte Brontë and the Industrial Novel

Wednesday 1 November, 2023, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm GMT


Charlotte Brontë is a giant of Victorian literature and the much-loved author of the classic Jane Eyre but what of her lesser-read second novel, Shirley, written in the grief and sadness of family loss? Brontë’s Shirley was set amongst the tumultuous times of the Napoleonic Wars and Luddite machine breakers. Her strong female characters and industrial strife show the author had plenty to say about contemporary class and sexual politics, much like her friend Elizabeth Gaskell in her first novel, Mary Barton. This special partnership event explores the historical reality behind Charlotte’s writing including her beloved Yorkshire moors, famous sisters and the status of women in Victorian life. Join us as we delve into the original novel including the chance to see a first edition of both Shirley and Mary Barton live from the Portico.

This event will include three speakers and ​Q&A session.

Speakers include Andrew Stodolny (Learning Officer at Brontë Parsonage Museum), Dr Emma Liggins (Reader in English Literature and Co-Director of the Long Nineteenth-Century Network at Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr Debbie Challis (Events Producer at The Portico).

A partnership event with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, the Brontë Parsonage Museum, The Portico and Manchester Metropolitan University
Part of the Mary Barton season of events at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House