Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell (Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, née Stevenson; 1810 – 1865) was an English writer.

After her mother’s death, one-year-old Gaskell was sent to live with her aunt. Encouraged by her father, she received a traditional education in classics and arts, and later attended the Avonbank School in Stratford-on-Avon. In 1832, Gaskell married a Unitarian minister, with whom she had six children. Her first daughter was stillborn in 1833, and her only son died in infancy, in 1845. 

Thomas Carlyle praised her first novel Mary Barton (1848), while his wife, Jane Welsh Carlyle, wrote, in her private letters, some sharp, critical remarks about Gaskell and her work (and, in particular, about The Life of Charlotte Brontë – 1857). Among Gaskell’s acquaintances, friends and admirers, we have Harriet Martineau, Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Maria Edgeworth, and, of course, her close friend Charlotte Brontë.



  • Mary Barton (1848)
  • Ruth (1853)
  • North and South (1854–55)
  • Sylvia’s Lovers (1863)
  • Wives and Daughters: An Everyday Story (1865)


  • The Moorland Cottage (1850)
  • Mr. Harrison’s Confessions (1851)
  • Cranford (1851–53)
  • The Old Nurse’s Story (1852)
  • Lizzie Leigh (1855)
  • My Lady Ludlow (1859)
  • Round the Sofa (1859)
  • Lois the Witch (1861)
  • A Dark Night’s Work (1863)
  • Cousin Phillis (1864)

Short stories

  • Libbie Marsh’s Three Eras (1847)
  • The Sexton’s Hero (1847)
  • Christmas Storms and Sunshine (1848)
  • Hand and Heart (1849)
  • The Well of Pen-Morfa (1850)
  • The Heart of John Middleton (1850)
  • Disappearances (1851)
  • Bessy’s Troubles at Home (1852)
  • The Old Nurse’s Story (1852)
  • Cumberland Sheep-Shearers (1853)
  • Morton Hall (1853)
  • Traits and Stories of the Huguenots (1853)
  • My French Master (1853)
  • The Squire’s Story (1853)
  • Half a Life-time Ago (1855)
  • Company Manners (1854)
  • The Poor Clare (1856)
  • The Doom of the Griffiths (1858)
  • Right at Last (1858)
  • The Manchester Marriage (1858)
  • The Haunted House (1859)
  • The Crooked Branch (1859)
  • The Half-brothers (1859)
  • Curious If True (1860)
  • The Grey Woman (1861)
  • The Cage at Cranford (1863)
  • Crowley Castle (1863)


  • Sketches Among the Poor (1837)


  • An Accursed Race (1855)
  • The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857)
  • French Life (1864)

About her

  • Elizabeth Gaskell: a Habit of Stories, by Jenny Uglow (1993)
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: A Biography, by  Winifred Gerin (1976)
  • The Letters of Mrs. Gaskell, edited by J.A.V. Chapple and Arthur Pollard (1966)
  • Further Letters of Mrs Gaskell, edited by J..A.V. Chapple and Alan Shelston (2000)
View All


  1. I’ve read quite a few of her novels but I didn’t realize she also wrote so many short stories. Great post. Thanks so much!



    1. Thank you, Melissa! I’ve recently read the novella Lois the Witch, and I quite enjoyed it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


  2. Muito bom o post (^_^). Adoro a Elizabeth Gaskell ♥. Gostaria de ver mais obras dela publicada no Brasil. Afinal, Gaskell é incrível! Beijos, Juliana!



    1. Obrigada, Lulu! Ela e George Eliot sao, por enquanto, minhas vitorianas prediletas: autoras que nao se furtam a colocar o dedo na ferida. 🙂



      1. Com certeza (*-*). Livro bom é assim, hahaha. Juliana, da Era Vitoriana eu também adoro a Irmãs Brontë. Quanto a George Eliot, tenho planos de conhecer a escrita dela próximo ano (^_^).

        Liked by 1 person

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