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  • Author: Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

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  1. A Dark Night's Work

    A concealed crime and a false accusation of murder. Learn More
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    A Dark Night's Work
  2. Cranford

    Cranford is a witty portrait of small town life in early-Victorian England. The story unfolds through the eyes of Mary Smith, a young woman who observes the comedic struggles of two middle aged sisters in their efforts to maintain a level of refined dignity amid poverty. Learn More
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    Cranford
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    Curious, If True: Strange Tales
  4. My Lady Ludlow

    My Lady Ludlow is a long novella (over 77,000 words). It appeared in the magazine Household Words in 1858, and was republished in Round the Sofa in 1859, with framing passages added at the start and end.

    It recounts the daily lives of the widowed Lady Ludlow of Hanbury and the spinster Miss Galindo, and their caring for other single women and girls. It is also concerned with Lady Ludlow's man of business, Mr Horner, and a poacher's son named Harry Gregson whose education he provides for.

    With Cranford, The Last Generation in England and Mr. Harrison's Confessions, it was adapted for TV in 2007 as Cranford. Learn More
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    My Lady Ludlow
  5. North and South

    North and South is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, first published in book form in 1855 originally appeared as a twenty-two-part weekly serial from September 1854 through January 1855 in the magazine Household Words, edited by Charles Dickens. The title indicates a major theme of the book: the contrast between the way of life in the industrial north of England and the wealthier south, although it was only under pressure from her publishers that Gaskell changed the title from its original, Margaret Hale.
    The book is a social novel that tries to show the industrial North and its conflicts in the mid-19th century as seen by an outsider, a socially sensitive lady from the South. The heroine of the story, Margaret Hale, is the daughter of a Nonconformist minister who moves to the fictional industrial town of Milton after leaving the Church of England. The town is modeled after Manchester, where Gaskell lived as the wife of a Unitarian minister. Gaskell herself worked among the poor and knew at first hand the misery of the industrial areas.
    The change of lifestyle shocks Margaret, who sympathizes deeply with the poverty of the workers and comes into conflict with John Thornton, the owner of a local mill, also a friend of her father. After an encounter with a group of strikers, in which Margaret attempts to protect Thornton from the violence, he proposes to her, telling her that he is in love with her; she rejects his proposal of marriage, mainly because she sees it as if it were out of obligation for what she had done. Later, he sees her with her fugitive brother, whom he mistakes for another suitor, and this creates further unresolved conflict. Margaret, once she believes she has lost his affection, begins to see him in another light, and eventually they are reunited. Learn More
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    North and South
  6. Wives and Daughters

    Wives and Daughters is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, first published in the Cornhill Magazine as a serial from August 1864 to January 1866. When Mrs Gaskell died suddenly in 1865, it was not quite complete, and the last section was written by Frederick Greenwood.
    The story revolves around Molly Gibson, only daughter of a widowed doctor living in a provincial English town in the 1830s. Learn More
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    Wives and Daughters

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