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Reading The Nineteenth Century Online: Wives and Daughters

It’s back! Our sell-out reading course is now going online! Join Sherry Ashworth in our perennially popular reading course, to explore depictions of motherhood in the nineteenth-century novel. How was the mother seen in Victorian times? Was she a domestic angel, designed for this sacred role? What about the ‘fallen woman’ as mother?

To answer these questions and more, we’ll be reading a range of classic texts that shine a spotlight on motherhood in Victorian Britain: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters; Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, Margaret Oliphant’s Hester and George Moore’s Esther Waters.

Our first session will explore Wives and Daughters, by our own Elizabeth Gaskell, and written right here at the House!

The course is suitable for the general reader who wants to delve deeper into reading the nineteenth-century. Grab your books and hunker down for some cosy winter reading, and then join the sessions for a fun and informative closer look at the text and the context of each classic novel.

Readers will be encouraged to discuss the books during the Zoom sessions, under Sherry’s expert guidance. Numbers will be limited to allow an inclusive discussion with chance for all to take part.


Tickets £10


This is a five-month course. You can come to one or two, or all of the sessions, to suit your interests.

Remaining dates:

  • February 10: Anne Bronte’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • March 10: Charles Dickens’ Bleak House
  • April 14: Margaret Oliphant’s Hester
  • May 12: George Moore’s ‘Esther Waters’

***Please note: this is an online event. Links to join the Zoom session can be found on your e-ticket ****

13th Jan 2021

7pm - 9pm


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

Visitor to the House in 2021