Literature

“Will you walk into my parlour?”

One of Elizabeth Gaskell's close friends was fellow writer Mary Howitt (1799-1888). Both she and her husband William were key figures in Elizabeth's early writing career.  She had written to them in 1838 with an account of a visit by her to...

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Elizabeth Gaskell’s lady’s maid – a dramatic imagining

The background: earlier this year, the House was successful in securing funding from the Arts Council for a collaborative programme of arts activities which included a series of creative writing workshops. These used the current House exhibition, Household Commotion - Elizabeth Gaskell and the 'awful...

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Reader, I started writing Jane Eyre in Manchester!

Yes indeed, Charlotte Bronte really did begin to write Jane Eyre in Manchester! And Elizabeth Gaskell gives us much of the story in her biography of Charlotte Bronte. So, what then is the story? By 1846, Charlotte's father's sight was worsening due...

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Mrs Gaskell and Miss Betty Barker’s Alderney Cow

This must be one of the best known and best loved stories from Cranford: An old lady had an Alderney cow, which she looked on as a daughter. You could not pay the short quarter-of-an-hour call, without being told of the wonderful...

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The right words in the right order…

The background: the House has been successful in securing funding from the Arts Council for a collaborative programme of arts activities which includes a series of creative writing workshops. Here, Ben Cassidy, who is attending the programme, describes his experience of the second session....

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