History Day in Cheshire
6th November 2017
Yesterday Elizabeth Gaskell was once more visiting the county she loved, Cheshire, as part of the Cheshire Local History Association’ s History Day in Northwich, a town not too far from her native Knutsford. I spoke to a packed hall of over two hundred people about Elizabeth Gaskell’s life, family and friends in Cheshire and how she represented them throughout her writing. It is an enormous subject and was fascinating to research, although the full extent of Elizabeth’s Cheshire connections could never be constrained within the bounds of a fifty minute presentation.
I think Elizabeth would also have been pleased with her positioning in the programme, sitting securely between Anna Barbauld (1743-1825) and Beatrice Tunstall (1908-1991), both women who lived in Warrington, a town which is intrinsically connected to Gaskell through her husband and son, as well as through its strong Unitarian/dissenting tradition. The day was a resounding success and we forged some amazing links with other organisations as well as individuals who had information to add to our growing knowledge of Elizabeth’s life and connections.
Delivering presentations to organisations, not always as large as this one I might add, is part of our outreach programme at the Elizabeth Gaskell House, a programme which can be both exciting and rewarding if sometimes slightly nerve racking. One reward was a wonderful day out in Knutsford and its environs during the summer in the company of Janet Kennerley, a long standing member of the Gaskell Society, in order to collect information and take photographs for this presentation. Of course in true Elizabeth Gaskell style it also had to include the prerequisite visit to a tea shop for refreshment!
Come along to the Elizabeth Gaskell House and find out more about her life and writing.
Our volunteers are available to speak at regional events (for a donation towards to the house). Please contact email@example.com if you are interested.