The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

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Online Talk: Victorian Christmas in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester

Wednesday 13 December, 2023, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm GMT


At the start of Queen Victoria’s reign, Christmas meant little to commercial Manchester but during the 1840s-1860s the city came to share in an upsurge of enthusiasm for the festive season. Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester saw a boom in the Christmas trade in food, wine and gifts, the expansion of seasonal entertainments like pantomime and the revival of old customs. Even the Mechanics Institution sponsored a series of pageants involving wassail bowls and boars’ heads. And if Christmas was a time to remember the poor, that certainly hit home in the city.

So get your mince pies ready, pull up your favourite chair, and join us online for a cosy Christmassy evening with the Gaskell Society’s Anthony Burton.

The talk will be approx 45 mins long, with time for a short question session afterwards.