Gaskell House Blogs

Quiz – How Well Do You Know Elizabeth Gaskell’s House? Part 2

17th June 2020
in blog, Collection, other

This six-part quiz will test your knowledge of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. We will be posting four questions a week for six weeks, each week based on a different room or area of the House. The answers can all be found within our blogs and social media posts. You can also find some of the answers in the two blogs 10 things you might not know about Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and Six Famous Visitors.  It’s purely for fun. We won’t be scoring you – the answers are at the bottom of the page, below the picture.

Part 2 The Study

  1. Who painted the portrait below of William Gaskell that you can see in the study?

  2. We discovered a book in the study signed by the sister of a distant and very famous relative of Elizabeth’s who also inspired a character in Wives and Daughters. Who was the relative?

  3. What object did Elizabeth purchase for William in the Baker Street Bazaar in 1855?

  4. Which of the (later) well-known visitors to the House knitted a scarf for William Gaskell?
Who painted this portrait of William Gaskell?


  1. Annie Swynnerton painted the Portrait of William Gaskell. The portrait was commissioned in 1878 by the Portico Library to mark William Gaskell’s 30 years as its Chairman. The portrait was lent to Manchester Art Gallery for their exhibition Painting Light and Hope in 2019 but we now have it back and you can see it in the Study. Annie Swynnerton became the first female member of the Royal Academy. Read more about Annie Swynnerton

  2. Charles Darwin was the distant relative. He inspired the character of Roger Hamley in Wives and Daughters. Elizabeth is related to him through her mother’s family, the Hollands who are related to the Wedgewoods. You can see the book, signed by Susan Darwin, his sister, on display in the study. Read more about the discovery

  3. Elizabeth purchased a library table for William’s study in the Baker Street Bazaar. She gives a detailed description with sizes in a letter to Marianne, instructing her and Ann Hearn (the maid) to measure the room and see if it will fit. Read more about the library table Baker Street Bazaar

  4. Beatrix Potter knitted William a scarf for Christmas in 1874. William Gaskell attended Glasgow University with Edmund Potter, Beatrix’s Grandfather and he remained close to the Potter family. Read more about Beatrix and William Gaskell

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

Visitor to the House in 2021