The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

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Online Talk: Margaret Hale – North and South

online

Our passion for North and South continues as we take a closer look at lead character Margaret Hale. Our heroine is famous for her growing love affair with mill-owner John Thornton (played so well by Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage in the 2004 BBC TV adaptation) and their relationship is at the heart of both […]

£5

Mrs Gaskell’s Personal Pantheon – with Bob Gamble

Francis Holland School 39 Graham Terrace, London, United Kingdom

Bob’s book of this title appeared in August 2020 and highlights connections between Unitarian communities across England by following the life and times of Elizabeth Gaskell's dear friend, Janetta Bishop Mitchell. Janetta's closeness to the Reverend William Turner of Newcastle upon Tyne emphasises why a correct identification of 'Miss Mitchell' is significant to Gaskell biography. This […]

Online Talk: Bad Women

online

‘Revenge may be wicked, but it’s perfectly natural.’ Becky Sharpe, Vanity Fair, 1847 The stereotype of the Victorian woman is that of a domestic angel, pure, innocent and a helpmate to her husband. But the women in this talk challenge that with a vengeance! Enjoy a look at the dark side with the bad women […]

£5

The Gaskell Memorial Service 2023

Brook Street Chapel Adam's Hill,, Knutsford, United Kingdom

Every year, on a Sunday close to what would have been Elizabeth Gaskell's birthday, we lay flowers on her grave (10.45am) at Brook Street Chapel in Knutsford. We also lay flowers 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 from […]

Online Talk: Mary Barton and the Year of Revolutions

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Mary Barton and the Year of Revolutions: ‘John Barton became a Chartist, a Communist’ Elizabeth Gaskell’s debut novel Mary Barton (1848) is recognised as one of the most important Victorian works to explore the working class Chartist movement, in this case through the character of Mary’s father, John Barton. Popular speaker Prof Mike Sanders is back to reveal […]

£5

Autumn Meeting: A Cranford Reader: Margaret Leicester Warren of Tabley House

Knutsford Methodist Church Princess Street, Knutsford, United Kingdom

The Joan Leach Memorial LectureA Cranford Reader: Margaret Leicester Warren (1847–1921) of Tabley House Pic: Wikimedia Commons We're delighted to welcome Sarah Webb, a trustee of the Tabley House Collection.In 1861 Margaret Leicester Warren (1847-1921) read Cranford.  She was not impressed.  This novel of devoted sisters, female friendship and the precariousness of female lives did not appeal to […]

£5 – £6

Manchester Meeting – Domestic Mental Cruelty in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Works

Cross Street Chapel Cross Street,, Manchester, United Kingdom

Kathleen Gentle's talk for our October meeting will focus on familial/spousal abuse in Gaskell's works. She'll  discuss Gaskell's depiction of physical and mental cruelty and how she criticises her contemporary culture for their complicity in the abuse of women in spousal relationships. Kathleen completed her undergraduate and MA degrees in English Literature at the University […]

£5 – £6

Online Talk: Song of the Shirt

online

With fingers weary and worn, With eyelids heavy and red, A woman sat in unwomanly rags, Plying her needle and thread— Stitch! stitch! stitch! Thomas Hood wrote the famous poem The Song of the Shirt (1843), in response to a newspaper report about a widow and seamstress named Mrs Biddell who was forced, like many seamstresses of her day, to […]

£5

Online Talk: Ann Radcliffe and the Female Gothic

online

Ann Radcliffe and the Female Gothic – ‘A genius of no common stamp’ Get ready for a spooky night of literature as we celebrate the bicentenary of Ann Radcliffe, the ‘mighty magician’ of horror and the gothic. Once the highest paid author of the 1790s, Radcliffe’s most famous works include The Romance of the Forest […]

£5

Online “Knutsford” Meeting – October 2023

online

*** Please note that this event is now online only, via Zoom.*** Our Chair, Dr Diane Duffy will be discussing Sylvia's Lovers  for the 2023-24 Knutsford season. Gaskell’s only historical novel, Sylvia’s Lovers is set in the fictional coastal town of Monkshaven, against a backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. Sylvia Robson lives a simple enough […]

£5 – £6

Online Event: Shirley – Charlotte Brontë and the Industrial Novel

online

Charlotte Brontë is a giant of Victorian literature and the much-loved author of the classic Jane Eyre but what of her lesser-read second novel, Shirley, written in the grief and sadness of family loss? Brontë’s Shirley was set amongst the tumultuous times of the Napoleonic Wars and Luddite machine breakers. Her strong female characters and […]

£5

Manchester Meeting – Elizabeth Gaskell in the Train and on the Omnibus

Cross Street Chapel Cross Street,, Manchester, United Kingdom

We're delighted to welcome back committee member and one of our favourite speakers, Anthony Burton. He'll be offering a tempting taster for our 2024 Conference, which explores the theme of travel. Anthony was intrigued by paintings featuring railway stations and omnibuses in the Dining Room at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.  He has explored the background of […]

£5 – £6

How Manchester Made Shakespeare Modern – Rosa Grindon, the Suffragist Shakespearean Scholar

Manchester Central Library St Peter's Square, Manchester

Dr Ian Nickson (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham) and Dr. Monika Smialkowska (Northumbria University) will talk about the largely overlooked career of Rosa Grindon. They will chart her journey from modest beginnings in a Derbyshire village to becoming a leading figure in literary and theatrical circles in Manchester, a ground-breaking Shakespearean scholar and, as a […]

Free

Online Tour of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

online

Using 360-degree photography, expert guides will bring Manchester’s literary heritage to life via an online tour of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. From the Morning Room and Study, to the Drawing and Dining Rooms, you’ll learn about Elizabeth’s family life; how William, her husband, supported her, and how her life in Manchester influenced the books she wrote […]

£10

Can we Devise a Gaskell Brand? – with Anthony Burton

Francis Holland School 39 Graham Terrace, London, United Kingdom

As anyone who has attended Gaskell Society conferences, or joined any of the Gaskell House’s online events, will know, Anthony has a vast and wide-ranging amount of knowledge about Elizabeth Gaskell, her life, times and contemporaries. He will use Gaskell, Dickens, Austen and the Brontës to look at how writers have been promoted (or promoted […]

Online ‘Knutsford’ Meeting – November 2023

online

Our Chair, Dr Diane Duffy will be discussing Sylvia's Lovers for the 2023-24 Knutsford season. Gaskell’s only historical novel, Sylvia’s Lovers is set in the fictional coastal town of Monkshaven, against a backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. Sylvia Robson lives a simple enough life on the farm, when she meets Charlie Kinraid, a dashing seaman. […]

£5 – £6

Online Event: North and South – The Preston Lockouts Anniversary

online

2023 marks the 170th anniversary of the Preston Lockouts – the historical strikes that informed the plot and themes of Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic romantic novel North and South and provided inspiration for Charles Dickens in Hard Times. When workers demanded a 10% wage increase in Preston in 1853, the factory owners simply locked the gates and left 18,000 people […]

£5

Manchester Meeting – Gaskell and the Fairy Tale

Cross Street Chapel Cross Street,, Manchester, United Kingdom

Elizabeth Gaskell’s interest in the fairy tale and her use of fairy-tale motifs throughout her writing have been curiously neglected by scholars.  The fairy tale, like the Gothic and the ghostly, operates in a world of magic realism, its conventions straddling two worlds in which the supernatural is accepted as normal in an apparently realistic […]

£5 – £6

Online Talk: Victorian Christmas in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester

online

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 […]

£5

New Year Lunch, 2024

Cottons Hotel and Spa Manchester Road, Knutsford, United Kingdom

We're thrilled to welcome back members and friends for our wonderfully convivial New Year lunch - a firm favourite in our society's calendar. Join us at the the Cottons Hotel, Knutsford for a three-course lunch, including coffee and after-lunch entertainment. Members old and new, non-members and guests are all most welcome to join us. Tuesday […]

£29.83

Knutsford Meeting – January 2024

Brook Street Chapel Adam's Hill,, Knutsford, United Kingdom

Our Chair, Dr Diane Duffy will be discussing Sylvia's Lovers for the 2023-24 Knutsford season.Gaskell’s only historical novel, Sylvia’s Lovers is set in the fictional coastal town of Monkshaven, against a backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.Sylvia Robson lives a simple enough life on the farm, when she meets Charlie Kinraid, a dashing seaman. After their […]

£5 – £6

The Victorian House: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Context

Cross Street Chapel Cross Street,, Manchester, United Kingdom

Is Elizabeth Gaskell's House a 'typical' Victorian house?  Surely houses changed a lot over Victoria's 63-year-long reign? Anthony Burton examines various aspects of Victorian domestic architecture, in order to show how Elizabeth Gaskell's House fits in. Doors open at 1pm and the talk begins at 1.30pm. We'll make a recording available for online viewing after the […]

£5 – £6

Knutsford Meeting – February 2024

Brook Street Chapel Adam's Hill,, Knutsford, United Kingdom

Our Chair, Dr Diane Duffy will be discussing Sylvia's Lovers for the 2023-24 Knutsford season. Gaskell’s only historical novel, Sylvia’s Lovers is set in the fictional coastal town of Monkshaven, against a backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. Sylvia Robson lives a simple enough life on the farm, when she meets Charlie Kinraid, a dashing seaman. […]

£5 – £6

Manchester Meeting – Elizabeth Gaskell in the Digital World

Cross Street Chapel Cross Street,, Manchester, United Kingdom

We're thrilled to welcome Jessica Smith, Creative Arts Archivist at the John Ryland Research Institute and Library. As you may know, the John Rylands Library holds a collection of Elizabeth Gaskell's printed works and letters. They hold the original manuscripts for 'The Grey Woman', Wives and Daughters, The Life of Charlotte Brontë and 'The Crooked […]

£5 – £6

Knutsford Meeting – March 2024

Brook Street Chapel Adam's Hill,, Knutsford, United Kingdom

Our Chair, Dr Diane Duffy will be discussing Sylvia's Lovers for the 2023-24 Knutsford season. Gaskell’s only historical novel, Sylvia’s Lovers is set in the fictional coastal town of Monkshaven, against a backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. Sylvia Robson lives a simple enough life on the farm, when she meets Charlie Kinraid, a dashing seaman. […]

£5 – £6