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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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

Below Stairs: Servants at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

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

Victorian households had a strict class hierarchy but was it really all like Downton Abbey? What did servants do on a daily basis and what was a life ‘in service’ like? The middle classes often complained of the ‘Servant Problem’ but how were relations between the Gaskell family and their servants at 84 Plymouth Grove? Find out more in this revealing talk by the Gaskelll Society's Anthony Burton. The talk will be approx 45 minutes long, with time for a…

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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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Why She Wrote

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

Dive into the fascinating, unexpected, and inspiring stories behind the greatest women writers in the English language as the amazing Bonnets at Dawn launch their new book. The engaging duo talk about their Elizabeth Gaskell chapter and consider her work, along with that of other women writers, including Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Alice Dunbar Nelson and Anne Lister. They ask a simple question: in a time when being a woman writer often meant being undervalued, overlooked, or pigeonholed, why…

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Sons and Mothers: Lawrence, Larkin and the Voice of the Feminised Male

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

This compelling talk explores the work of two of the finest English writers of the 20th century; DH Lawrence and Philip Larkin. Join Philip Watts for a fascinating look at how each writer’s relationship with his mother influenced their work. Find out how D H Lawrence, regarded as the ‘greatest imaginative novelist of our generation’, affected Larkin’s poetry so many years later. Enjoy readings of several complete poems and see why Larkin’s work was once described as ‘a poetry from…

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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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