Place and Progress in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Place and Progress in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell

1st Edition

By Lesa Scholl, Emily Morris


246 pages

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Hardback: 9781472429636
pub: 2015-05-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315600543
pub: 2016-03-09
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Critical assessments of Elizabeth Gaskell have tended to emphasise the regional and provincial aspects of her writing, but the scope of her influence extended across the globe. Building on theories of space and place, the contributors to this collection bring a variety of geographical, industrial, psychological, and spatial perspectives to bear on the vast range of Gaskell’s literary output and on her place within the narrative of British letters and national identity. The advent of the railway and the increasing predominance of manufactory machinery reoriented the nation’s physical and social countenance, but alongside the excitement of progress and industry was a sense of fear and loss manifested through an idealization of the country home, the pastoral retreat, and the agricultural south. In keeping with the theme of progress and change, the essays follow parallel narratives that acknowledge both the angst and nostalgia produced by industrial progress and the excitement and awe occasioned by the potential of the empire. Finally, the volume engages with adaptation and cultural performance, in keeping with the continuing importance of Gaskell in contemporary popular culture far beyond the historical and cultural environs of nineteenth-century Manchester.


"This fine collection of essays, timed perfectly to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Gaskell’s death, will reach a broad audience from undergraduates to post-graduate researchers." - Deirdre d'Albertis, Bard College, USA, author of Dissembling Fictions: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Victorian Social Text

"Overall, this is an excellent collection which succeeds in viewing Gaskell apart from the ‘purely parochial construction of place’ that has historically dominated her critical reception (p. 3). It will be of great interest and usefulness to the increasing number of scholars who are drawn to the riches of Gaskell’s writings." - Jude Piesse, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

About the Authors


Lesa Scholl

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Learn more about Lesa Scholl >>

Lesa Scholl is Dean of Academic Studies at Emmanuel College, University of Queensland, Australia; Emily Morris teaches literature and composition at St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada; and Sarina Gruver Moore is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Calvin College, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature