The Gaskell Society and its partners host a year-round programme of meetings and special events, most of which are open to everyone. We’re very friendly – and we’d love to meet you, whether or not you choose to join the Society. 

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January 2015

Knutsford Meeting

Wednesday 28 January, 2015, 12:15 pm - 3:00 pm

We will finish our discussion on A Dark Night's Work and begin The Moorland Cottage. Visitors welcome Cost including lunch (from 12.15) - £9 members, £10 visitors. Without lunch (from c. 1.30) - £3 members, £4 visitors

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March 2015

Knutsford Meeting

Wednesday 25 March, 2015, 12:15 pm - 3:00 pm

We conclude our discussion on The Moorland Cottage Visitors welcome Cost including lunch (from 12.15) - £9 members, £10 visitors. Without lunch (from c. 1.30) - £3 members, £4 visitors

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April 2015

Knutsford Meeting

Wednesday 29 April, 2015, 1:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Wednesday 29 April, 2015 We will discuss Libbie Marsh's Three Eras Visitors welcome Cost including buffet lunch (from 12.15) - £9 members, £10 visitors. Without lunch (from c. 1.30) - £3 members, £4 visitors

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September 2015

Knutsford Autumn Meeting

Saturday 26 September, 2015, 11:30 am - 4:30 pm
Knutsford Methodist Church, Princess Street
Knutsford, WA16 6BY United Kingdom
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10.30 Registration and Tea/Coffee and Biscuits 11.00 The Joan Leach Memorial Lecture Dr. Shirley Foster: American Visitors to the North The experiences in Manchester and its environs of Gaskell's  American Friends Elizabeth Gaskell had many American friends and acquaintances, among the most notable being Charles Eliot Norton and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Some – including the aforementioned – visited her in Manchester and recorded their visits in letters, autobiographies or travel writings. Equally interesting are the responses of these Americans to the industrial…

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April 2016

Knutsford Meeting at Brook Street Chapel

Wednesday 27 April, 2016, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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The Knutsford Meetings take place on the last Wednesday of the month from October to April, excluding December This is the last meeting of this session and  Elizabeth Williams will conclude our discussion of  Wives and Daughter,, Elizabeth Gaskell’s last novel, and arguably her best. She died before she had completed it, and the last few pages were written by Frederick Greenwood, editor of the Cornhill Magazine. We look forward to seeing you all  at this meeting when we will consider which book…

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September 2017

Gaskell Memorial Service at Brook Street Chapel

Sunday 24 September, 2017, 11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Brook Street
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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The Annual Gaskell Service is on Sunday 24th September at 11am Please note that this year the service  is not the day after the Gaskell Society Autumn Meeting, as traditionally it is, but on the Sunday before the Autumn Meeting, which is on Saturday 30th September The theme of the service is  "Elizabeth Gaskell and Motherhood". Prior to the service, at 10.45 am we have the  laying of flowers on the  Gaskell grave and on Joan Leach's grave. Afterwards there is…

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October 2017

Knutsford Meeting

Wednesday 25 October, 2017, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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The Gaskell Society is delighted to welcome the return Dr Diane Duffy, who, in the last session, led the discussions such interesting and informative  way. In this session we will be studying North and South and Diane will explore the two main thematic/generic strands of the novel: industrial relatons and romance. She writes: I will begin with the romance genre which traditionally is part of the acculturation process-making men and women fit into the desired/expected social role  models.Many women writers subvert this…

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November 2017

Knutsford Meeting

Wednesday 29 November, 2017, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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Dr Diane Duffy will continues to explore the theme of romance in North and South Diane writes: In the second session I want us to explore the available social roles for men-father, son, husband and brother. In the second part of this session, I want us to consider how Gaskell manages to make links between  the romance genre and the industrial/ social novel. Prior to the discussion there will be the usual delicious buffet lunch served at 12.30 pm. The…

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January 2018

Knutsford Meeting

Wednesday 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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At this meeting Dr Diane Duffy  wants us to examine Gaskell’s presentation of the industrial relations in North and South Prior to the discussion there will be the usual delicious buffet lunch served at 12.30 pm. The discussion will begin at 2pm. and finish at 3pm. Doors open at 12.00 pm.. Charges: Members: £9 incl lunch  Discussion only: £3 Non-members: £10 incl lunch.   Discussion only: £4  All are welcome There will also be a chance to visit the Gaskell Exhibition…

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February 2018

Knutsford Meeting

Wednesday 28 February, 2018, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances,the discussion on the TV version of North and South has been postponed until the next Knutsford  Meeting on 28th March. Instead, at this meeting, we will once again welcome Dr Diane Duffy who will lead a discussion on "Contemporary Reactions to the Publication of North and South" This is sure to be an interesting discussion, Diane kindly supplies notes to help. Everyone is welcome and if you would like to be sent a…

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September 2018

Autumn Meeting

Saturday 29 September, 2018, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm
Knutsford Methodist Church, Princess Street
Knutsford, WA16 6BY United Kingdom
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£16.50 – £18.50

Booking Form for Autumn Meeting 10.30 am Coffee 11.00 am The Joan Leach Memorial Lecture  will be given by Marie Moxon, taking as her title: The Sounding Cataract and the Tall Rock: From William Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’ to Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth. Writing to her sister-in-law Lizzie in 1836, Elizabeth Gaskell is enthusiastic about the Lakeland poet. Sitting ‘in a shady corner of a field gay with bright spring flowers’, and with ‘the air so full of sweet sounds’ the surroundings provide…

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October 2018

Knutsford Meeting at Brook Street Chapel Hall

Wednesday 31 October, 2018, 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Brook Street
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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£10 – £11

The Old Nurse's Story The Old Nurse’s Story was Gaskell’s first ghost story, published in 1852, in a special Christmas edition of Household Words. A recent reviewer of the story writes “What a brilliant introduction to Elizabeth Gaskell's writing this was!... a dark and eerie tale everything you could possibly want from a Victorian gothic ghost story", Come along to the next Knutsford meeting and  join in a discussion of this tale, led by Diane Duffy or just listen to what others…

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November 2018

Knutsford Meeting at Brook Street Chapel Rooms

Wednesday 28 November, 2018, 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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£10 – £11

The Grey Woman “I always enjoy a Gaskell gothic novella and this one was no exception - thoroughly enjoyable, gripping and dramatic. I adore her writing style and her characterisation, and just how different everything she writes is.” The Grey Woman is another of Gaskell’s short stories  which has elicited an enthusiastic response from a modern-day reader. Come along to the Gaskell Society meeting and join in the discussion led once more by Diane Duffy or just listen to what others…

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January 2019

New Year Lunch at Cottons Hotel

9 January, 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Cottons Hotel and Spa, Manchester Road
Knutsford, WA16 0SU United Kingdom
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£26

We are once again returning to Cottons Hotel, Knutsford for our New Year Lunch. The cost is £26 which covers a 3 course lunch, tea or coffee and entertainment afterwards. We are hoping that this year we will have a special treat-all will be revealed in due course The menu will be available soon, so when it is please make your choices and send them along with any dietary requirements, together with a cheque payable to The Gaskell Society, to :Mrs Carolyn…

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Knutsford Meeting at Brook Street Chapel

30 January, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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£5 – £6

  Mary Barton Session: 1 Once again we are delighted to welcome Dr. Diane Duffy to lead our discussions. For the remainder of this season the talks will concentrate on Mary Barton, which will be the focus of our forthcoming conference in July. (See details on the website, coming soon) Specifically for this meeting Diane will focus on Chapters 2 and 6 . Gaskell was very good on details and provides a great deal of detailed descriptions about the houses/interiors/possessions…

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February 2019

Knutsford Meeting: Mary Barton-Session 2

27 February, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
£10 – £11

Once again we welcome Dr Diane Duffy to lead our discussion. For the February session Diane will be looking at types of narrative in Mary Barton, focusing on chapters 14, 15, and 16 as well as the life histories-Job, Alice and Esther in Chapters 3 & 4. Mary Barton has been called a multi-genre narrative and there is evidence of melodrama, romance, journalism/documentary, personal history and tragedy in this novel, maybe you can think of others? Why might she want to…

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March 2019

Knutsford Meeting: Mary Barton-Session 3

27 March, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Brook Street
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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£10 – £11

  Dr Diane Duffy will again be leading our discussion.  This month she will be  focusing  once more on  Chapter 16 of Mary Barton. She will look at John Barton’s tragedy, thinking about Gaskell's initial intention to make it John’s story and being persuaded to change her mind. Many critics believe this novel to be a book of two halves, initially focusing on John and later moving to Mary. They feel this is detrimental to the novel. What are your views? …

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April 2019

Knutsford Meeting: Mary Barton Session 4

24 April, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel Hall, Brook Street
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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£10 – £11

Dr Diane Duffy will be leading this last discussion on Mary Barton. She writes: In the final meeting we will look at money. Make a note of when you come across the mention of money and in what context-you may be surprised at the frequency.  Gaskell sometimes looks at money being present in transactions and sometimes she studies the effects of its absence, but in every case it is of prime importance.  I will choose some examples to study and…

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September 2019

Gaskell Memorial Service

22 September, 10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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Every year, on a Sunday close to what would have been Elizabeth Gaskell's birthday, we lay flowers on her grave and on the nearby grave of the Gaskell Society's founder, the much-missed Joan Leach. We then go into the chapel for a special service. You are most welcome to join us. 10.45 am  Laying flowers on the graves 11.00 am. Gaskell service

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Gaskell Society Autumn Meeting

28 September, 10:30 am - 3:30 pm
Knutsford Methodist Church, Princess Street
Knutsford, WA16 6BY United Kingdom
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The Joan Leach Memorial Lecture: 'Narrating Sexuality' by Carolyn Lambert Gaskell was intrigued by questions of gender & sexuality and explored these in her writing in surprising ways. This presentation focuses on Gaskell's presentations of masculinity in her shorter fiction but also her subversive challenges to cultural expectations of femininity. Carolyn Lambert is a visiting lecturer at the University of Brighton where she teaches nineteenth-century literature.  She is the author of The Meanings of Home in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Fiction (Brighton: Victorian Secrets, 2013)…

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October 2019

Knutsford Meeting – October 2019

30 October, 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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In October and November, we'll be discussing Cousin Phillis. Our monthly meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month, between October and April (except December). An excellent buffet lunch is served at 12.30pm followed by a talk and discussion, led by Dr Diane Duffy, 2-3pm. Read Diane Duffy's blog post about the novella here. There will also be a chance to visit the Gaskell Exhibition Room, upstairs in the Chapel Hall building.   Everyone is most welcome. £10…

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November 2019

Knutsford Meeting – November 2019

27 November, 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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In November, we'll continue our discussion about the short novel, Cousin Phillis. Our monthly meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month, between October and April (except December). An excellent buffet lunch is served at 12.30pm followed by a talk and discussion, led by Dr Diane Duffy, 2-3pm. There will also be a chance to visit the Gaskell Exhibition Room, upstairs in the Chapel Hall building.  Everyone is most welcome - £10 members, £11 non-members if you'd like lunch.…

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