Gaskell Chronicle

Friday News and Web Round Up, will now publish as the Gaskell Chronicle

The Gaskell Chronicle brings together the best recent blog posts and news items related to Elizabeth Gaskell each Saturday

Wives and Daughters

Little Stories Abby shares some insights on Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters

Cynthia is very beautiful and very aware of the power that her beauty gives her. She arrives to the Gibson household fresh from a French boarding school and filled with pretensions and secrets. Molly and Cynthia take a bit of time to warm up to one another, but after a few chapters, they have come to care for one another as true sisters. Cynthia, however, does not operate in a way we would expect. We expect her to be silly and flirtatious–which she sometimes is–but she surprises us with her ability to transcend her stereotype of the glamorous, desirable single girl. While mired in a romantic trap that she has created for herself, Cynthia exhibits both great lapses of judgment and bouts of the deepest insight and self-awareness. Gaskell never fully lets us make up our minds about her–and that is, perhaps, the true genius behind the character of Cynthia Kirkpatrick … read more.

The Guardian John Mullan has dubbed Roger Hamley, Gaskell’s hero of Wives and Daughters, with one of the ten best beards in literature

In Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, Molly Gibson loves sturdy Roger, a naturalist who goes to Africa to collect samples. Molly’s father tells her that Roger has returned more masculine and “muscular”, and sporting “a beard as fine and sweeping as my bay-mare’s tail.” “A beard!” exclaims Molly – shocked and thrilled by turns … read full article.

North and South

The Book Gargoyle Julie Berrie analyzes North and South and compares it to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

North and South invites its readers to scrutinize shifting class boundaries in the changing economy of Industrial Britain. The novel acquaints itself with labor unions, strikes, riots, the volatile markets for raw and finished goods, squalor, suicide, industrial pollution, public education, and employee relations … read more.
Related Link: Comparing Pride & Prejudice with North & South – Theme: Social Prejudice Part 1

Slight Foxing Rachel recently read and reviewed Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South

It’s a… good book – completely engaging. It’s been a while since I’ve shouted at the page (come on, Mr Thornton!). But as well as a powerful romance, it’s also a social novel. Set in the mid-1800s in a Lancashire mill town (modelled on Manchester), the story is told through the eyes of new-comer to the town: Miss Margaret Hale, a parson’s daughter from the New Forest. At first horrified by the dirty, industrial town, she comes to see the human face of it by getting to know some of the mill workers – and helps to show this human face to one of the town’s mill owners, Mr Thornton … read more.

Betty Books shares some of her favorite quotes and thoughts on reading North and South

“She kept choking and swallowing all the time that she thought about it. She tried to comfort herself with the idea, that what he imagined her to be, did not alter the fact of what she was. But it was a truism, a phantom, and broke down under the weight of her regret.”

You can just feel her sorrow and frustration at not being able to fix things. Haven’t you ever been in a situation where someone had the wrong impression or idea about you and there was nothing you could do to change their mind? It’s quite a burden and this part in the novel is full of heartache and regret … read more.

Gaskell and Family


University of Glasgow Writes about one of their graduates, William Gaskell, Elizabeth’s husband

William Gaskell was born on the 24th July 1805 into a prominent Dissenting family from Latchford, Cheshire. He received an education in the classics from Joseph Saul, a local Anglican minister. As a non-conformist, William would have been barred from studying at Oxford or Cambridge, so instead he enrolled at Glasgow University … read more.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Charleybrown says:

    Like the sound of the Gaskell Chronicle! Elizabeth would be proud of your devotion!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! Partly inspired by Daniel Parish’s Candleford Chronicle. 😉

  2. Julie Berry says:

    Hey Katherine,

    So nice to meet you and discover your blog! Thanks for stopping by The Book Gargoyle and for linking here. Cheers!

    Julie Berry

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