Elizabeth Gaskell


Elizabeth Gaskell is best known as a novelist and biographer, but she was also a lively and sensitive letter writer, with a vivacious interest in all that was going on around her.

This selection from her letters, with a linking commentary,provides a biography of Gaskell largely in her own words. It is in chronological order, with special chapters devoted to her family life, her travels, her charities and her life as an author who was also a wife and mother, in a period when Victorian society and culture were undergoing major changes—especially apparent in Manchester where she lived. She emerges as a woman of intelligence, integrity and grace, with an enchanting sense of humor, an insatiable curiosity about life, a deep regard for truth and a boundless sympathy for others.

This selection by John Chapple, assisted by John Geoffrey Sharps, was originally published in 1980. With the support of the Gaskell Society it has been reprinted without alteration, except for some new illustrations.

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