Given the current situation, listed events may be subject to change. Please double-check arrangements before leaving home. Do stay safe: we hope to see you again in person at our events before too long.

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January 2021

‘Knutsford’ Meeting (online) – The Sexton’s Hero

26 January, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

Our January discussion, hosted by Dr Diane Duffy, will be about the short story 'The Sexton's Hero'. You can download and read the story here. Diane has drawn up a list of points to ponder.  And Dr Duffy's blog post about the story is here.  We email invitation links to our members shortly before the meeting, but these events are free and open to all. If you're not a member of the Gaskell Society, you're still welcome to join us. Just…

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Cranford for Beginners (online talk)

27 January, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£4

Have you ever wanted to read Cranford or wondered why it’s one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s most popular novels? Join Libby Tempest, Chair of the Gaskell Society, for an introduction to this well-loved classic of Victorian literature. It’s the perfect complement to the House's exciting new Cranford exhibition in 2021, where you can discover more about the book, its inspiration and its legacy. The talk takes place over Zoom and tickets are £4. Use the link below to book your place.

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February 2021

Manchester Meeting (online) – Brontë’s Mistress

2 February, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom + Google Map

In February, we're delighted to welcome historical novelist Finola Austin, who will talk about her debut novel, Bronte's Mistress, published by Atria Books (Simon & Schuster) in 2020. in 1843, Branwell Brontë had affair with Lydia Robinson, mistress of Thorp Green Hall and the mother of his pupil. The novel reimagines the scandalous affair that has divided Brontë enthusiasts for generations and gives voice to the woman vilified by history as the “wicked elder seductress”. Finola Austin has a Master's degree…

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Cranford’s Illustrators (online talk)

3 February, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£4

Cranford’s famous illustrations helped to popularise Elizabeth Gaskell’s much-loved novel. Find out more about the story behind them in this informative online evening talk with our very good friend, the former Portico Library Librarian, Emma Marigliano It’s the perfect complement to the House's exciting new Cranford exhibition in 2021, where you can discover more about the book, its inspiration and its legacy. The talk takes place over Zoom and tickets are £4. Use the link below to book your place.

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Reading the Nineteenth Century – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

10 February, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£10

It’s back! The sell-out reading course is now going online! Join Sherry Ashworth in this perennially popular reading course, hosted by Elizabeth Gaskell's House, to explore depictions of motherhood in the nineteenth-century novel. How was the mother seen in Victorian times? Was she a domestic angel, designed for this sacred role? What about the ‘fallen woman’ as mother? To answer these questions and more, we’ll be reading a range of classic texts that shine a spotlight on motherhood in Victorian…

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‘Knutsford’ Meeting (online) – February 2021

23 February, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

Our February discussion, hosted by Dr Diane Duffy, will compare treatments of the workers in Helen Lydia Burton's Bertha Darley and Gaskell's North and South. Points for discussion will appear soon. We're not able to meet in Knutsford at time of writing, but we'll let you know when that situation changes - and it will! In the meantime, we'll meet over Zoom, with invitations being sent to members by email nearer the time.  The events are free and open to all. If you're…

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Chocolate Box Cranford – an Idyll? (online talk)

24 February, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£4

Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford is famed for its portrayal of picture-perfect English village life, and its well-loved illustrations by Hugh Thomson help to paint this chocolate-box picture. But is there more to Cranford than the idyllic image suggests? Find out in this online winter’s evening talk with the Gaskell Society's Anthony Burton, It’s the perfect complement to the House's exciting new Cranford exhibition in 2021, where you can discover more about the book, its inspiration and its legacy. The talk takes place…

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March 2021

Manchester Meeting (online) – Alice Petschler

2 March, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

We're delighted to welcome the historian, biographer and retired teacher, Joanna Williams to our March meeting, where she'll talk about Alice Petschler (1830-1897).   Alice Petschler was the photographer, poet and "lunatic" whose case helped to lead changes in the law on how the mentally ill were committed. Most accounts of pauper asylums are from the viewpoint of the medical staff, but Petschler, an educated woman, was far from a typical 'pauper lunatic'.  Carried off by night under false pretences,…

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Vindication of the Rights of Woman – Mary Wollstonecraft’s influence on the writings of Elizabeth Gaskell (online talk)

3 March, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£4

Elizabeth Gaskell's House celebrates the approach of International Women’s Day with a focus on Mary Wollstonecraft, a pioneer of feminist thought in the UK, and her influence on Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing. Wollstonecraft is firmly back in public consciousness, due to the head-turning new statue in her honour, by artist Maggi Hambling. Join us for this fascinating online talk with Dr Diane Duffy, as she examines the ways Wollstonecraft’s ideas have informed Elizabeth Gaskell’s work. The talk takes place over Zoom…

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Reading the Nineteenth Century – Bleak House

10 March, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£10

It’s back! The sell-out reading course is now going online! Join Sherry Ashworth in this perennially popular reading course, hosted by Elizabeth Gaskell's House, to explore depictions of motherhood in the nineteenth-century novel. How was the mother seen in Victorian times? Was she a domestic angel, designed for this sacred role? What about the ‘fallen woman’ as mother? To answer these questions and more, we’ll be reading a range of classic texts that shine a spotlight on motherhood in Victorian…

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Readings in Honour of Mothers’ Day (online talk)

17 March, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£4

Join the team at Elizabeth Gaskell's House for a wonderful online reading about mothers and motherhood, in honour of Mother’s Day. Elizabeth Gaskell’s experience as a mother informed much of her writing. House volunteers will be performing a delightful selection of readings about mothers from Elizabeth’s letters, stories and novels. Join us from the comfort of your own home, to hear thoughts from Elizabeth Gaskell's home. The talk takes place over Zoom and tickets are £4. Use the link below…

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A Piano Recital with Claire Vane

20 March, 7:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£10

We're delighted to welcome the celebrated pianist Claire Vane, who will give an online recital from her home in Cambridge. Claire intends to perform at Elizabeth Gaskell's House, just as soon as conditions allow, but in the meantime she has made this very generous offer to perform for us via Zoom.   Claire is offering her services free of charge, so the Friends of Elizabeth Gaskell's House are delighted to be able to use this occasion to raise funds for the House.   Enjoy music…

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‘Knutsford’ Meeting (online) – March 2021

30 March, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

Our March discussion, hosted by Dr Diane Duffy, will be about the short story, 'A Dark Night's Work'. You can read Dr Duffy's blog post about the story here.  Points for discussion will appear soon. We're not able to meet in Knutsford at time of writing, but we'll let you know when that situation changes - and it will! In the meantime, we'll meet over Zoom, with invitations being sent to members by email nearer the time.  The events are free and…

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April 2021

The Gaskell Society AGM 2021

10 April, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

Our Annual General meeting reverts to its usual April slot for 2021, though we've decided to use Zoom, rather than meet in person at Cross Street Chapel. We'll be running talks and lectures over Zoom in the coming months, so this AGM will be business-only - no talks or lunch, alas - and open only to our members. All members who have email will receive an emailed invitation. Our Spring newsletter will carry information about telephone numbers you can call to listen into the…

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‘Knutsford’ Meeting (online) – April 2021

27 April, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

Our April study session, hosted by Dr Diane Duffy, continues our exploration of the short story, 'A Dark Night's Work'. You can read Dr Duffy's blog post about the story here.  Points for discussion will appear soon. We're not able to meet in Knutsford at time of writing, but we'll let you know when that situation changes - and it will! In the meantime, we'll meet over Zoom, with invitations being sent to members by email nearer the time.  The events are…

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May 2021

Reading the Nineteenth Century – Esther Waters

12 May, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£10

Join Sherry Ashworth for the last in this perennially popular reading course – now online – to explore depictions of motherhood in the nineteenth-century novel. In this session we’ll be exploring George Moore’s Esther Waters. Grab your book and hunker down for some absorbing spring-time reading, and then join the session for a fun and informative closer look at the text and the context of the novel. The course is suitable for the general reader who wants to delve deeper…

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July 2022

The Gaskell Society Conference 2022

Friday 8 July, 2022 - Monday 11 July, 2022
Celtic Royal Hotel, Bangor Street
Caernarfon, North Wales LL55 1AY United Kingdom
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The Gaskell Society committee has taken the difficult decision to postpone Conference until 2022. Although there is a possibility that we could have gone ahead with Conference for 2021, we felt we couldn't run the risk of asking members to commit deposits while there was any chance that it would have to be cancelled. We are all sad about this but I'm sure it's the right decision. So - the new dates are - 8th - 11th JULY 2022 - please do…

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