Jane Austen's House and Elizabeth Gaskells House

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Online Event: Wives and Daughters V Mansfield Park – The Domestic Novel

Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell are two of the nation’s best-loved authors. Rightly lauded for their classic works, they are often depicted as writing about marriage and the narrow social confines of women’s lives. Now, we look at them afresh as we explore the ‘domestic novel’ of the 19th century.

Many Georgian and Victorian stories focused on the life of girls from the gentry, or middle-classes, and the minutiae of their daily lives.

Austen’s classic novel Mansfield Park tells the story of Fanny Price, who lives on the edge of family life with her richer relatives, trying to navigate love and loneliness. Elizabeth Gaskell’s last novel Wives and Daughters shows the coming of age of heroine Molly Gibson in a small English country town.

Both girls are central characters, observant of the people around them and recognised by others for their goodness. But reading between the lines, what hints does each author give us about domestic life? What do they have to say about women’s lives? And do they support or challenge the status quo?

A partnership event with Jane Austen’s House. Part of Wives and Daughters season and to celebrate the 210th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.

Elizabeth Williams conveyed her intimate knowledge of Gaskell’s life and works lightly and easily. I learnt a lot, quickly and effortlessly.’  Audience member

Tickets £5

Wednesday 18 September, 7-8pm

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Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is run by Manchester Historic Buildings Trust (charity no. 1080606) and all money gained through private tours, talks, room hire and ticket sales goes towards the ongoing maintenance and running costs of the House. If you would like to support the House with an additional donation you can do so via this link.

18th Sep 2024

7pm - 8pm

Talk, Talks

The guides brought the home alive. It was inspiring to hear about this woman and extraordinary family

Visitor to the House in 2021