HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Elizabeth Gaskell, born 29 September 1810
“I’ll not listen to reason… reason always means what someone else has got to say.” (Cranford)I adore Gaskell’s novels. She has such sympathy for her characters, is so good at seeing both sides of a question, and writes with such clarity and exactness of emotion. Her North and South is one of my very favourite Victorian novels, and the TV version starring Richard Armitage as John Thornton is possibly my favourite TV serial of all time!
Cranford, Mary Barton and Wives and Daughters are all fantastic novels. The only one of hers I’m not keen on is Sylvia’s Lovers – it is too gloomy and sad, though I do love the setting of Whitby in Yorkshire. Cranford is a gem of a book. It was an extraordinary achievement of Gaskell’s in making Miss Matty into a lovable heroine – she is middle-aged, not especially bright, a little stubborn, and she leads a very dull life, and yet Elizabeth Gaskell makes us love Miss Matty and admire her.
Elizabeth Gaskell is one of England’s great novelists and is well worth getting to know. She aged 55, on 12 November 1865.
Tell me your thoughts in the comment area below.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
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