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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December 2018

Manchester Christmas Meeting at the Portico

Tuesday 4 December, 2018, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Portico Library, 57 Mosley Street
Manchester, M2 3FF
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£12.50 – £14.

Literary Theft?  Charles Dickens appropriates one of Elizabeth Gaskell's Favourite Stories.  A talk by Professor Michael Slater,  past president of the Dickens Fellowship. Elizabeth Gaskell and Charles Dickens reacted to each other with a mixture of admiration and irritation. One moment of tension was in 1852, when Dickens, in his story To Be Read at Dusk, made use of an anecdote, which Elizabeth Gaskell regarded as her own. Michael investigates this incident, which centres on a story of the uncanny-…

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January 2019

Knutsford Meeting at Brook Street Chapel

Wednesday 30 January, 2019, 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

Manchester Meeting at Cross Street Chapel

Tuesday 5 February, 2019, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street
Manchester, M2 4WG United Kingdom
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£5 – £6

  Can we devise a Gaskell ‘brand’ which could compete in the literary heritage industry with the Austen, Brontë and Dickens                              A talk by  ANTHONY BURTON Anthony,  a former Trustee at Elizabeh Gaskell's House , and retired museum curator,  now active as a lecturer  on art literature and local history     Literature starts with words on the page.  It can expand into various forms of…

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London & South East Gaskell Society Meeting

Saturday 9 February, 2019, 12:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Francis Holland School, 39 Graham Terrace
London, SW1W 8JF United Kingdom
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£5

‘Domestic visiting as a means of social knowledge and reconciliation in Gaskell’s fiction A talk by Professor Martin Hewitt from Anglia Ruskin University  Martin will draw on Gaskell’s novels and short stories, especially Mary Barton, North and South and her Manchester short stories, to explore the way Gaskell advocated and exemplified what he calls the ‘visiting mode’ as way of knowing the nineteenth century city. His talk will be based on a chapter of his short monograph, provisionally entitled Seeing Space and Place in the Nineteenth…

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Knutsford Meeting: Mary Barton-Session 2

Wednesday 27 February, 2019, 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

Manchester Meeting at Cross Street Chapel

Tuesday 5 March, 2019, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street
Manchester, M2 4WG United Kingdom
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£5 – £6

  'Ancoats - The World's First Industrial Suburb     A talk by Elizabeth Sibbering (Sibby)   The talk will explore the development of the area from the 1700s through Victorian industrialisation to modern times. It will examine the terrible conditions experienced by workers, both at work in the cotton mills and in their own homes; the immigrant groups who settled in Ancoats; other industries of the area; and the efforts at improvements made from Victoria times onwards. This talk…

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Knutsford Meeting: Mary Barton-Session 3

Wednesday 27 March, 2019, 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

The AGM of the Gaskell Society 2019 at Cross Street Chapel

Saturday 6 April, 2019, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street
Manchester, M2 4WG United Kingdom
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£16.50 – £18.50

 Timetable 10.00 am: Tea and Coffee 10.30 am: AGM 11.30 am: The Daphne Carrick Memorial Lecture will be delivered by  Dr Katherine Skaris of Durham University who will be taking as her title  The Unsung Heroes of Elizabeth Gaskell's Fiction. Elizabeth Gaskell’s earlier works primarily address nineteenth-century social and political issues and her efforts in social reform, especially in regards to women, is ever-present in all her novels. In this paper, Katherine will argue that in Mary Barton, North and South, Ruth, Wives…

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Knutsford Meeting: Mary Barton Session 4

Wednesday 24 April, 2019, 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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May 2019

London &South East Gaskell Society Meeting

Saturday 11 May, 2019, 12:45 pm - 4:30 pm
£5

I’m afraid that once again I have to announce a late change of speaker for this meeting. Lucy Hanks, who was due to speak to us about William Gaskell’s revisions on The Life of Charlotte Brontë, has had to withdraw due to a family illness, although we hope that she will be able to deliver her talk in our next programme. Instead we have been fortunate enough to secure another speaker whom we are sure you will find an excellent replacement…

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September 2019

London & South East Gaskell Society Meeting

Saturday 14 September, 2019, 12:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Francis Holland School, 39 Graham Terrace
London, SW1W 8JF United Kingdom
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£5

Out in Public with Gaskell's Women A talk by Dr Flore Janssen Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels form perfect illustrations of the mid-nineteenth-century debates around women in the public sphere. Crossing class boundaries and addressing the world of work, novels like Mary Barton, Ruth, and North and South show women whose work and personal commitments require them to assert their presence in the public sphere, both literally, walking alone in busy streets, and figuratively, in their engagement with matters of law and business. This talk addresses…

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Gaskell Society Autumn Meeting

Saturday 28 September, 2019, 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

Manchester Meeting at Cross Street Chapel

Tuesday 1 October, 2019, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street
Manchester, M2 4WG United Kingdom
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£5 – £6

The Whitfield Collection, Knutsford Library A talk by Linda Clarke, Archivist at Cheshire Archives & Local Studies Knutsford Library holds a wonderful collection of Gaskell-related books, letters, cuttings, photographs, journals, foreign language editions, dramatisations, literary criticisms and background material, originally collected by Professor A Stanton Whitfield (1900-1975). Linda will talk about this publicly available collection and its relevance and interest to the Gaskell enthusiasts of today.       The talk will begin at 1:30pm, but doors open at 1.00pm,…

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Knutsford Meeting – October 2019

Wednesday 30 October, 2019, 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

Manchester Meeting at Cross Street Chapel

Tuesday 5 November, 2019, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street
Manchester, M2 4WG United Kingdom
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£5 – £6

Elizabeth Gaskell’s French Connection A talk by John Greenwood, Editor of the Gaskell Newsletter John will talk about the important influences of all things French on Gaskell and her writing. His particular focus will be on the actual presence of the French language in Gaskell’s novels, short stories and articles.  The talk will begin at 1:30pm, but doors open at 1.00pm, so please feel free to bring a packed lunch and eat with us. The chapel provides tea and coffee for…

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London & South East Gaskell Society Meeting

Saturday 9 November, 2019, 12:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Francis Holland School, 39 Graham Terrace
London, SW1W 8JF United Kingdom
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£5

Connectedness in Cranford A talk by Annick Pommier Elizabeth Gaskell led a highly connected life. She built a vast and varied social network over a relatively short period of time and the thousand or so letters that she wrote give us a glimpse of a woman for whom forging and maintaining connections was essential. Her need to connect was not confined to her personality and social life and extends to her works. In her presentation, Annick will explore some of the…

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Knutsford Meeting – November 2019

Wednesday 27 November, 2019, 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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January 2020

Knutsford Meeting – January 2020

29 January, 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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In January, we'll be discussing the short story, Mr Harrison's Confessions. 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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February 2020

London & South East Gaskell Society Meeting

8 February, 12:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Francis Holland School, 39 Graham Terrace
London, SW1W 8JF United Kingdom
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£5

Was it quite impossible but that your Ruth should die?: Elizabeth Gaskell’s self-sacrificial heroine and the Life of Charlotte Brontë  A talk by Dr Angharad Eyre How did Elizabeth Gaskell manage to present the controversial Charlotte Brontë as a popular Victorian heroine? This was no easy task, especially given Gaskell’s own disapproval of Brontë’s novels. Nevertheless, Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Brontë secured Brontë’s place in respectable Victorian culture for the rest of the century. This paper explores the various religious literary traditions…

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Knutsford Meeting – February 2020

26 February, 12:15 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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In February, we'll be discussing the short story, The Doom of the Griffiths.  Click here to download our points for discussion.  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…

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March 2020

Manchester Meeting at Cross Street Chapel

3 March, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street
Manchester, M2 4WG United Kingdom
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£5 – £6

Patrick & Charlotte Brontë's Manchester A talk by Susan Dunne, of the Gaskell Society In the late summer of 1847, Charlotte & Patrick Brontë came to Manchester in the hope that an eye operation would save Patrick's failing sight. Although the stay was brief, their experience in Manchester would transform the lives of the Brontës forever. It was here, living in an obscure street in Hulme just half a mile away from Elizabeth Gaskell, that Charlotte began to write the literary…

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Knutsford Meeting – March 2020 – CANCELLED

25 March, 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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In March, we'll be discussing the short story, The Well of Pen-Morfa. 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…

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April 2020

The Gaskell Society AGM 2020 – POSTPONED

18 April, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street
Manchester, M2 4WG United Kingdom
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Given the current situation, we have decided to postpone our Annual General Meeting. We intend to reschedule it for later in the year. ---------------- 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. Timetable 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…

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Knutsford Meeting – April 2020 – CANCELLED

29 April, 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Brook Street Chapel, Adam's Hill
Knutsford, WA16 8DY
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In April, we'll be discussing the short story, The Squire's Story. 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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May 2020

London & South East Gaskell Society Meeting – POSTPONED

9 May, 12:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Francis Holland School, 39 Graham Terrace
London, SW1W 8JF United Kingdom
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£5

Please note that this event has been postponed, due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We hope to reschedule the sessions as soon as it's safe and we're able to do so. ---------- Eco-Gothic and Mary Barton A talk by Dr Lindsey Stewart This talk will consider how Mary Barton presents emotional and psychological distress and argue that, in this novel, Gaskell uses eco-gothic tropes to frame the environment as pathological. Lindsey is a member of our branch and a Visiting Fellow in the…

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