The Gaskell Society

The Gaskell Society

Celebrating the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell

Gaskell Resources

"She [Alice Wilson] used to ramble off into the lanes and meadows as far as her legs could carry her."

Mary Barton (Chapter II) 1848 –

The Gaskell Society online

The Gaskell Journal – our annual journal of Gaskell studies

The Gaskell Society blog – in case you missed it! Articles and updates by our members and friends, plus videos and transcripts of some of our most interesting talks.

The Gaskell Society on Facebook – news, events and things we like.

The Gaskell Society on Twitter – news, events – and a Gaskell quote for every day of the year.

Gaskell Society E-bulletins – sign up for news, forthcoming events and invitations for members and non-members.

Resources for Research and Further Reading

John Rylands Library (, Stephen Richards)
Manchester Central Library (, N Chadwick)

Project Gutenberg – full-text works by Elizabeth Gaskell, all free to read.

Victorian Web – not the most modern of websites, but an absolute treasure trove of excellent articles.

Elizabeth Gaskell in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The Rylands Gaskell Collection can be browsed in the John Rylands Library (University of Manchester)’s LUNA database. It contains nearly 150 digitised copies of letters, photographs, manuscripts and more – all relating to Elizabeth Gaskell and her Plymouth Grove home.

Manchester Digital Collections – the Elizabeth Gaskell and Charles Dickens Collection
A collection of letters and manuscripts, digitised by the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester. The collection includes manuscripts of Wives and Daughters, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, ‘The Grey Woman’ and ‘The Crooked Branch’. There are also letters from Charles Dickens to Elizabeth Gaskell and an illuminated manuscript of A Christmas Carol.

The University of Manchester Library and Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
by Fran Baker, archivist at the University of Manchester Library and Helen Rees Leahy, Professor of Museology at the University of Manchester.
This online presentation shows resources in the Gaskell Collection. It also includes pages from the auction catalogue when the house’s contents were sold off in 1914 after Meta’s death, as well as interior photographs of the house and portraits of the Harper family who lived there after the Gaskells.

Manchester Central Library  holds Elizabeth Gaskell items in its Special Collections. You can search the online catalogue for a list of items, but these have not yet been digitised for remote viewing.

Places to Visit

Elizabeth Gaskell's House (Pic: Elizabeth Gaskell's House)
Westminster Abbey window
Portico Library, Manchester., David Dixon

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House – our favourite house in Manchester! This beautiful Georgian villa was restored and reopened as a museum and events space in 2014 after years of campaigning and fundraising. 

Brook Street Chapel, Knutsford – Elizabeth attended the chapel every week as a child. Her resting place can be found in the graveyard. 

Knutsford Heritage Centre – Elizabeth Gaskell’s childhood home town really is a lovely place. This is where you should start your explorations. 

Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey – in 2010, a memorial to Elizabeth Gaskell was created, in the form of a panel of stained glass. You’ll find the window in the South Transept.  

Tabley House, Knutsford – the seat of the Leicester family (until 1975), said to have been the inspiration for Hamley Hall in Wives and Daughters. Possibly also Cumnor Park in the same novel. 

Tatton Park, Knutsford – the seat of the Egerton family in Gaskell’s childhood home town; said to have inspired Cumnor Park in Wives & Daughters 

Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

Manchester People’s History Museum – A celebration of the working-class movement, radicalism and democracy.

The Portico Library – Manchester’s beautiful subscription library, where William Gaskell was Chairman for many years.

Quarry Bank Mill – learn about the lives of mill workers at this National Trust property in Cheshire 

Lindeth Tower, Silverdale an interesting additional article about its links with Elizabeth Gaskell is here

Affiliated Organisations