First published in 1979, this book looks at every aspect of the life and work of Elizabeth Gaskell, including her lesser known novels and writings — especially those concerning life in the industrial north of Victorian England. It shows how her work springs from a culture and society which pervades all she thought and wrote. An opening chapter explores her religion, culture, friendships and family. The major works are considered in turn and background material relevant to the novels’ industrial scenes is presented. The process of literary creation is charted in material drawn from letters and by examination of the manuscripts. Her short stories, journalism and letters are also considered.
Table of Contents
Note on texts; Acknowledgements; 1 Elizabeth Gaskell 2 Mary Barton (1848) and North and South (1855): Industry and Individual 3 Cranford (1853) 4 Ruth (1853): ‘An Unfit Subject for Fiction’ 5 The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) 6 Sylvia’s Lovers (1863): Tragical History 7 Wives and Daughters (1866): The Echoing Grove 8 The Short Stories 9 Miscellaneous Writings and the Letters; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index