Gaskell House Blogs

Quiz – How Well Do You Know Elizabeth Gaskell’s House? Part 3

24th June 2020
in blog, Collection

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 to 84 Plymouth Grove.

It’s purely for fun. We won’t be scoring you – the answers are at the bottom of the page, below the picture.

Part 3 The Drawing Room

  1. Elizabeth wrote to a friend describing the chintz, shown in the picture below, in the Drawing Room, which we have recreated for the curtains and chair coverings: “…a new chintz. Such a pretty ones [sic], little rosebuds and carnations on a white ground.” Which year did she write about her new chintz? It is also the year which the redecoration of the House is based on.

  2. Who moved to nearby Addison Terrace in Victoria Park in 1848 and gave music lessons to Marianne and Meta Gaskell at 84 Plymouth Grove?

  3. Who wrote to Elizabeth about their affection for Julia Gaskell and can be found hiding behind the curtains in the Drawing Room?

  4. We have a small engraving in the Drawing Room, showing Florence Nightingale on horseback in Crimea. It was done by Florence’s sister, who was a friend of Elizabeth’s, and gave it to her as gift. What was the Christian name of Florence’s sister? And (for the real experts) what was her later title?
In what year did Elizabeth describe this chintz in a letter?


  1. The House decoration is based on the year 1859, when Elizabeth wrote about the chintz. It was rotary screen printed in Cumbria from an archive design first block printed in Lancashire between 1840 and 1858. It is called ‘sentiment of flowers.’ Read more about the chintz.

  2. Charles Hallé taught the Gaskell daughters music. When he arrived in Manchester, in addition to playing and conducting, he earned extra money by giving music lessons. The Gaskell family regularly enjoyed attending Hallé’s concerts. The Gaskell’s piano was a Broadwood semi-grand or boudoir piano and you can see a similar one in the Drawing Room. Read more about Charles Hallé.

  3. Charlotte Brontë stayed with the Gaskells at Plymouth Grove three times. Julia gave her a wildflower during a visit in 1853 and Elizabeth wrote that Charlotte “lost her heart to the child.” Charlotte hid behind the curtains in the Drawing Room to avoid meeting a visitor to the House, who had called to meet her. The bedroom Charlotte slept in is now our Brontë meeting room, which is available for hire. Read more about Charlotte Brontë.

  4. Florence Nightingale’s sister was called Parthenope. After she married Harry Verney second Baronet, in 1858, she became Lady Verney. The Nightingales, like the Gaskells, were Unitarians. In October 1854, while trying to finish North and South, Elizabeth stayed at the Nightingale’s home Lea Hurst in Derbyshire where she met Florence. Read more about Elizabeth Gaskell and Florence Nightingale.

a whispering of leaves and perfume of flowers always pervaded the rooms

Charlotte Brontë, on visiting 84 Plymouth Grove