Blogs & News

: Online Talk: The Season of Giving? Christmas in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Time

Celebrate the season of goodwill with a festive look at Victorian Christmas for those a little less able to afford a fat goose for their table. This special Christmas lecture looks at attitudes to the poor and working classes, from literature like A Christmas Carol to the reality of Victorian Manchester. There was a distinct tradition in England of sparing a thought for the poor at Christmastide. How did this work out in a harsh industrial place like Manchester? And how

: Online Event: Happy Birthday North and South with Sandy Welch

We are delighted to welcome back Bafta-award winning writer Sandy Welch as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of her classic TV adaptation, North and South. The BBC period drama of Elizabeth Gaskell’s groundbreaking novel starred Richard Armitage as handsome millowner John Thornton opposite Daniela Denby-Ashe as beautiful but complex heroine Margaret Hale. Over two decades the series has developed an international fan base with admirers across the globe. The romantic screen story set against the industrial backdrop of

: Online Talk: Halloween – Brides of Dracula

Join us online for a spine-tingling talk, just in time for Halloween! To mark the bicentary year of Lord Byron, step into the dark side to look at literary vampires starting with his unfinished novel The Burial: A Fragment. Byron’s supernatural story may have been the first in English to feature a vampire, but it certainly was not the last and many that followed featured female vampires. Delve into Irish novelist Sheridan Le Fanu's work Carmilla, which predates

: Online Event: Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot – Wives and Daughters V Middlemarch

'One must not judge others.' Two giants of Victorian literature, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot were very different in almost every way. George Eliot was private and intellectual, while Elizabeth was outgoing, gossipy and deeply shocked by the scandal of her fellow writer's personal life. So how did these differences affect their work? How did they approach similar themes such as provincial life, women's education, humorous characters and the inner life? What are the similarities (and differences) in

: Online Event – Unmarried Women: A Life of Freedom?

Elizabeth Gaskell’s last novel, Wives and Daughters, explored the position of women in 19th century society and the pressure on them to marry. Her book had much to say about marriage, including storylines like Mrs Gibson’s marriage of necessity, Cynthia’s secret engagement and Molly’s hoped-for love-match. Now we compare fiction with reality in this special dual talk on Unmarried Women. Firstly, popular speaker Elizabeth Williams explores the life and options for unmarried women in Wives and Daughters and