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Famous Like Me > Writer > G > Elizabeth Gaskell

Profile of Elizabeth Gaskell on Famous Like Me

Name: Elizabeth Gaskell  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 29th September 1810
Place of Birth: Chelsea, London, England, UK
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (September 29, 1810, London – November 12, 1865, Holybourne, Hampshire, England, UK), often referred to simply as Mrs Gaskell, was a British novelist.


She was born Elizabeth Stevenson in London in 1810. Her mother Eliza, the niece of the potter Josiah Wedgwood, died when she was a child. Her father, William Stevenson was a Unitarian minister. Much of her childhood was spent in Cheshire, where she lived with an aunt in Knutsford, a town she would later immortalise as Cranford. She also spent some time in Newcastle and Edinburgh. Her stepmother was a sister of the Scottish miniature artist, W. J. Thomson, who painted a famous portrait of Elizabeth in 1832. In the same year, she married William Gaskell, a minister at Cross Street Unitarian Chapel who had a literary career of his own. They settled in Manchester where the industrial surroundings would offer inspiration for her novels. The circles in which they moved included religious dissenters and social reformers, including William and Mary Howitt.

Mrs Gaskell's first novel, Mary Barton, was published anonymously in 1848. The best-known of her remaining novels are Cranford (1853), North and South (1855), and Wives and Daughters (1865). She was a friend of Charles Dickens, and wrote the first biography of Charlotte Brontë, which played a significant role in developing her fellow writer's reputation.

Mrs Gaskell today ranks as one of the most highly-regarded British novelists of the Victorian era.


With the help of Charles Dickens, Gaskell became popular for her writing, especially her Ghost story writing. Even though her writing conforms to Victorian Conventions (including signing her name "Mrs. Gaskell"), Gaskell usually frames her stories as critiques of Victorian attitudes, particularly those toward women, with complex narratives and dynamic women characters.<1>



  • Mary Barton (1848)
  • Ruth (1853)
  • North and South (1855)
  • The Grey Woman (1861)
  • Sylvia's Lovers (1863)
  • Wives and Daughters: An Everyday Story (1865)
  • Cranford (1853)
  • Half a Life-Time Ago
  • Cousin Phillis (1863)


  • The Moorland Cottage (1850)
  • 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)

Short Stories

  • The Squire's Story


  • The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Elizabeth Gaskell