Blogs & News

blog : About two rather different Elizabeths…

  Wightwick Manor, built by Theodore Mander , is a beautiful Aesthetic Style house in the Midlands which houses a remarkable collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Most of the collection was put  together by Geoffery Mander, who with his second wife Rosalie Glynn Grylls, bought paintings by artists such as Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Millais. I love this picture of Effie Ruskin painted when Millais was with her and her then husband, John Ruskin in Scotland . They also collected...

blog :  Dame Mabel Tylecote

William Gaskell’s study is home to a collection of mainly 19th Century books which have reached Elizabeth Gaskell’s House through a variety of purchases and donations. I am currently creating an inventory of these books, which includes a note of any inscriptions or ownership attributions inside, thinking that some of these former owners will turn out to be interesting in themselves. On the shelves are over 50 titles by John Ruskin, the leading art critic, artist and polymath...

blog : Conservation Cleaning Training

On Monday morning, a few of our volunteers gathered at the house to learn about preventative conservation. The morning was led by Nettie Cook, a freelance conservationist and specialist on furniture restoration, who has worked extensively with the National Trust, and other heritage organisations. She has run other conservation days at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, and joined us this morning to discuss the books, and the metal work. The morning began with coffee and introductions, before moving into the...

blog : Finding Elizabeth Gaskell at John Rylands Library

Early in October, a group of volunteers from the House was lucky enough to visit the magnificent John Rylands Library with John Hodgson - Joint Head of Special Collections and Manuscripts and Archives Manager - and to get very close to some items from the Gaskell archive which is held there. The Library was built as a monument to John Rylands, an immensely successful and rich Manchester textile manufacturer, by his widow Enriqueta Rylands. Designed by Basil Champney,...

blog : A Darwinian Discovery

Continuing with my project of cataloguing all the books in William’s study I reach four undistinguished looking brown volumes by Lord Henry Cockburn. Inside both covers of a two volume life of Lord Jeffrey (1773-1850, Edinburgh judge and literary critic, co-founder of The Edinburgh Review), my eye is caught by a very clear inscription Susan E Darwin, 1852. As well as these signatures, in the top left-hand corner of the front board, a tiny little label from a...