Given the current Covid-19 outbreak, our committee has taken the decision to cancel or postpone our events until further notice. At time of writing, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has closed its doors until a planned review in July. All events listed are subject to change or cancellation.

Please stay safe, dear members, and we hope to see you at our events and meetings again before too long.

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The Gaskell Society AGM 2020 – PROVISIONAL NEW DATE

19 September, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

We postponed our Annual General Meeting, originally scheduled for 18 April.  We’re suggesting this date provisionally but will, of course, follow government advice as it applies nearer the time.

Speakers are subject to change, but we will publish updates as we have them. Please also note the changes of venue: we’ll be in Knutsford, rather than Manchester. 

In the meantime, please save the date and we hope very much to see you there!

Stay safe and well

A warm welcome to our Annual General Meeting. The AGM is open to Gaskell Society members only, but the talks and lunch are open to members and non-members alike.


10.00 am: Tea and Coffee

10.30 am: AGM

11.30 am: The Daphne Carrick Memorial Lecture:

‘Was it quite impossible but that your Ruth should die?’ Elizabeth Gaskell’s self-sacrificial heroine and the ‘Life of Charlotte Brontë’
by Dr. Angharad Eyre

Giving the Daphne Carrick memorial lecture will be Dr. Angharad Eyre, Teaching Associate at Queen Mary, University of London.

How did Elizabeth Gaskell manage to present the controversial Charlotte Bronte as a popular Victorian heroine? This was no easy task, especially given Gaskell’s own disapproval of Bronte’s novels. Nevertheless, Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Bronte secured Bronte’s place in respectable Victorian culture for the rest of the century. This paper explores the various religious literary traditions that Gaskell drew upon to ensure her version of Bronte would gain a sympathetic audience.

Angharad received her PhD in 2014 with a thesis on the influence of the female missionary on 19th century women writers. In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship at the John Rylands Institute in Manchester to research Elizabeth Gaskell’s friendship with Charlotte Bronte.

12.45 pm (approx) lunch


Researching Unitarian Women
by the Rev Dr Ann Peart

In the afternoon, we welcome the Rev Dr Ann Peart, retired Unitarian minister and former Principal of Unitarian College, Manchester, where she taught most of the ministerial arts, including Unitarian history. Originally a geographer, she now considers herself a historian and has written on many Unitarian topics, most notably on women & sexuality. She is back on home ground having been brought up in Hyde and schooled in Manchester.

Ann will talk about her motivation for beginning research on Unitarian women. She will explore the issues that have arisen, and will then go on to talk more specifically about some of the women featured in her recent book, Unitarian Women: A Legacy of Dissent, who formed part of Elizabeth Gaskell’s friendship networks. Her book is a celebration of the pioneering achievements of Unitarian women who have made a difference to the world over the past 200 years, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Jesser Reid – and of course our own Elizabeth Gaskell.

All welcome to attend our talks and join us for lunch. 


With lunch – £17.50 members, £19.50 non-members

Talks only – £10 members,  £12 non-members

Please make cheques payable to The Gaskell Society

and send to ">Mrs Pam Griffiths, 37 Buckingham Drive, Knutsford . WA16 8LH

Tel: 01565 651761    mobile: 07792 241290


19 September
10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Event Categories:
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The Gaskell Society


Knutsford Methodist Church
Princess Street
Knutsford, WA16 6BY United Kingdom
+ Google Map

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