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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April 2020

Lunchtime Talk: Forgotten Female Novelists – POSTPONED

Thursday 23 April, 2020, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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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. ---------- Discover the work of women authors whose fiction has been forgotten. Join our Chair, the wonderfully engaging Libby Tempest, as she uncovers the work of these unsung writers. Lunch-time talks and readings are included in usual House entry No booking required, but please make sure you arrive in good…

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Knutsford Meeting – April 2020 – CANCELLED

Wednesday 29 April, 2020, 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

Saturday 9 May, 2020, 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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Peak District Tour, with Elizabeth Gaskell & Florence Nightingale connections – CANCELLED

Wednesday 20 May, 2020

As part of the tour, we are promised a privileged tour of Lea Hurst, where Florence Nightingale grew up and where Elizabeth Gaskell wrote part of the novel North and South in October 1854. The novel was being serialised in Dickens’s journal Household Words. Lea Hurst was the summer home of William Nightingale and his family. Several letters, describing Gaskell’s precise location in the house and the visits she made whilst staying there, were also written, including those to Marianne,…

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Reading the Nineteenth Century 5 – Esther Waters – POSTPONED

Wednesday 27 May, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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£10

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. ---------- A new, five-part evening reading course at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House - enter the world of fallen women in the Victorian novel. When a women’s virtue is compromised, what choices lie open to her? Whose fault is it that she falls in the first place? And what will happen to…

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July 2020

Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cultural Connections

Tuesday 14 July, 2020, 11:00 am - 1:15 pm
FREE

You're invited to the Gaskell Society's first ever online talk, to be delivered by Dr Diane Duffy. Manchester was Britain’s first industrial city and in 2017 it was successful in its bid to join UNESCO’s worldwide Creative Cities network as a City of Literature. The city has, for nearly 200 years, been a place where art and science, culture and industry have become intrinsically linked: at its centre, we find Elizabeth Gaskell. Join us for a presentation, followed by a discussion, on Elizabeth Gaskell and…

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August 2020

Mrs Gaskell’s Personal Pantheon

Wednesday 19 August, 2020, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
FREE

You're invited to the Gaskell Society's second online talk, to be delivered by Bob Gamble. Mrs. Gaskell's Personal Pantheon: Illuminating Mrs. Gaskell's Inner Circle is the title of a new book by Society member, Bob Gamble, in which he presents previously undiscovered biographical information about Elizabeth Gaskell. Bob's original research casts fresh light on Elizabeth's inner circle, uncovering some of the mysteries of her key relationships - most notably the puzzle surrounding 'Miss Mitchell'. Elizabeth Gaskell cited 'Miss Mitchell' as…

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Cranford for Beginners

Thursday 20 August, 2020, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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Have you ever wanted to read Cranford or wondered why it’s one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s most popular novels? Join the Gaskell Society's Chair, Libby Tempest, for an introduction to this well-loved classic of Victorian literature. And, of course, stay to explore the new Cranford exhibition at the House: discover more about the book, its inspiration and its legacy. Lunch-time talks and readings are included in usual House entry No booking required, but please make sure you arrive in good time…

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September 2020

September Second-hand Book Sale

Sunday 13 September, 2020, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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On the second Sunday of each month, Elizabeth Gaskell's House hosts a fantastic second-hand book sale, downstairs in the Servants Hall. All proceeds go towards supporting operations and events in the House. The tearoom always has a fine selection of new and second-hand books for sale, but this is the big one! It's a chance to browse a much wider selection – two rooms filled with second-hand books, donated by book-lovers! The selection includes a variety of fiction, art, gardening,…

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International Day of Peace – William Gaskell and Crimea

Sunday 20 September, 2020, 7:00 pm
online

Join Elizabeth Gaskell's House for an online talk in honour of International Day of Peace with this timely talk on William Gaskell’s sermon about peace, following the Crimean War. Dr Ingrid Hanson, Honorary Research Fellow at Manchester University, will discuss Rev Gaskell’s sermon and its echoes in Elizabeth Gaskell’s own fiction. The talk will start at 7pm and last for approx 45 minutes, followed by a short Q&A session. Tickets are £3 The instructions for joining the talk will be…

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The Gaskell Society AGM 2020

Saturday 26 September, 2020, 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

We were forced to postpone our Annual General Meeting, originally scheduled for 18 April.  We've decided to go ahead with this date and run our meeting online, rather than wait to see what government advice will be. The situation changes so quickly and we want everyone to stay safe and well. We'll be running talks and lectures over Zoom in the coming weeks (unless things change radically and we can meet again in person), so this AGM will be business-only - no talks or lunch, alas - and open only to…

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Blame the Mother?

Wednesday 30 September, 2020, 7:00 pm
online
£3

Blame The Mother? Elizabeth Gaskell, Nature and Nurture To honour Elizabeth Gaskell’s birthday (September 29) we’re celebrating with this online talk in the week of her birthday. Join us via Zoom for a fascinating discussion on nature versus nurture in Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing, with the Gaskell Society’s Elizabeth Williams. The talk will last approx 45 minutes, with time for a short Q&A session afterwards. Tickets are £3 and joining details will be sent out prior to the start of the…

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October 2020

Researching Unitarian Women (online talk)

Tuesday 6 October, 2020, 10:30 am
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

Researching Unitarian Women, with special reference to Elizabeth Gaskell's friendship networks We're online via Zoom again for October and we're delighted to welcome Ann Peart. Ann will talk about her motivation for beginning research on Unitarian women, and explore some of the issues that have arisen. She will then go on to talk more specifically about the some of the women featured in her recent book on Unitarian women who formed part of Elizabeth Gaskell’s friendship networks. Ann Peart is…

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October Second-hand Book Sale

Sunday 11 October, 2020, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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On the second Sunday of each month, Elizabeth Gaskell's House hosts a fantastic second-hand book sale, downstairs in the Servants Hall. All proceeds go towards supporting operations and events in the House. The tearoom always has a fine selection of new and second-hand books for sale, but this is the big one! It's a chance to browse a much wider selection – two rooms filled with second-hand books, donated by book-lovers! The selection includes a variety of fiction, art, gardening,…

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Anne Lister: an LGBTQ+ History

Wednesday 21 October, 2020, 7:00 pm
online
£6

An online talk by Jill Liddington whose research into the diaries of Anne Lister inspired the BBC1/HBO series Gentleman Jack. The Portico Library welcomes Dr. Jill Liddington, whose unparalleled research into the diaries of Anne Lister revealed the compelling and important history of a person who defied society and convention to determine her own way of living. Following the death of her Uncle James, Anne Lister took charge of her inheritance, Shibden Hall in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in 1826. Her…

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Knutsford Meeting (online) – The Squire’s Story

Wednesday 28 October, 2020, 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
Free

We're delighted to welcome Dr Diane Duffy, who'll be returning with her popular study sessions, this time discussing 'The Squire's Story'. These sessions are FREE and open to members and non-members alike. Invitations will be emailed to members, but if you're not a member, contact us for yours. 'The Squire's Story' was published in the 1853 Christmas number of Household Words. The previous year Gaskell had contributed 'The Old Nurse’s Story' to the Christmas edition,  a skilful and chilling tale of family…

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Elizabeth Gaskell’s Gothic Tales (online talk)

Wednesday 28 October, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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Join us online for a spine-tingling talk, just in time for Halloween! Elizabeth Gaskell delighted in writing gothic tales and ghost stories. Explore these terrifying tales in our spellbinding Halloween talk by the Gaskell Society's Dr Diane Duffy. Tickets are £3. ** Ticket sales will cease one day before the event starts, in order to allow time to send out joining instructions** **Joining instructions will be sent via email on the day of the talk, prior to the start of…

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November 2020

Elizabeth and Esther (online talk)

Tuesday 3 November, 2020, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom + Google Map

That Elizabeth Gaskell knew her Bible hardly needs stating, but what use did she make of it in her fiction? In particular, what use did she make of The Book of Esther? Sherry Ashworth’s talk will cover how The Book of Esther was understood by nineteenth century English Christians, and how Elizabeth Gaskell used it to embellish and bring meaning to her fiction. You’ll be surprised how often The Book of Esther pops up, and how tuned in Gaskell was…

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Mary Barton’s Manchester (online talk)

Wednesday 11 November, 2020, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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Join us online to discover the 1840s Manchester of Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel, Mary Barton. Back by popular demand, the Gaskell Society's Dr Diane Duffy will lead you on a literary journey of discovery of the places, buildings and landmarks of the city as featured in the book, with extracts from the text to map the way. This fascinating talk will interest anyone who wants to find out more about historical Manchester in Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing. Tickets are £3. ** Ticket sales…

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‘Knutsford’ Meeting (online) – November 2020

Tuesday 24 November, 2020, 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

Our next session (which will again take place online over Zoom) will be a discussion of 'The Well of Pen Morfa' with Dr Diane Duffy. After the success of Gaskell’s story ‘Lizzie Leigh’, the first piece of fiction to appear in Dickens’ new periodical Household Words (which was launched on March 30th 1850) Dickens requested others. The first, ‘The Well of Pen Morfa’, was published in two parts during November 1850. The story was set in North-west Wales, an area…

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December 2020

Manchester Meeting (online) – A Christmas Ramble

Tuesday 1 December, 2020, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom

The Gaskells must often have walked between their home and Cross Street Chapel.  They certainly did on Christmas Day 1861 (there and back). We, in lockdown, cannot physically retrace their steps through Chorlton-on-Medlock.  But, guided by the Gaskell Society's Anthony Burton, we can make a virtual expedition by Zoom, with the advantage that we can see pictures of features that have disappeared since the Gaskells’ time. Midway, we will have a short pause to celebrate, consuming such Christmas refreshments as…

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Christmas Revels in Victorian Manchester (online talk)

Wednesday 2 December, 2020, 7:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£3

Everyone loves a traditional Victorian Christmas! Get your mince pies ready, pull up your favourite chair, and join us online for a cosy Christmassy evening, as the Gaskell Society's Anthony Burton reveals just how Manchester celebrated Christmas in the Victorian era. This online talk will be approx 45 mins long, with time for a short Q&A session afterwards Tickets £3 ** Ticket sales will cease one day before the event starts, in order to allow time to send out joining…

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December Second-hand Book Sale

Sunday 13 December, 2020
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove
Manchester, M13 9LW United Kingdom
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The second-hand book sale will be running on Sunday 13 December but the House will be closed as per tier 3 restrictions. Pre-booking is essential to allow the house team to manage numbers and keep everyone safe. The £1 fee will be redeemable against second-hand books purchased. Book now ********* Named as “Manchester’s best second-hand book sale” by one of our visitors,  the Elizabeth Gaskell’s House second-hand book sale is a popular favourite for book lovers. Two rooms packed full…

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January 2021

Reading the Nineteenth Century – Wives & Daughters

13 January, 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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The Victorian Bedroom (online talk)

20 January, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Zoom, online only, by invitation United Kingdom
£5

The Victorian Bedroom: curtains, feathers, slops and bugs.   Join the Gaskell Society's Anthony Burton, one of our most popular and engaging speakers. Anthony has been getting behind appearances to confront some of the problems of life in the Victorian bedroom. Using Victorian household manuals, he tries to answer such questions as: What sorts of beds, and bathtubs were available? Would you stuff your mattress with straw, wool, horsehair, seaweed or hops? And tells of other strange dilemma faced by our Victorian forebears Anthony’s…

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