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Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, often referred to simply as Mrs Gaskell was a British novelist, born Elizabeth Stevenson in London in 1810. Much of her childhood was spent in Cheshire, where she lived with an aunt at Knutsford, a town she would later immortalise as Cranford. In 1832, she married a Unitarian minister, William Gaskell, and they settled in Manchester. The industrial surroundings would also offer inspiration for her novels.

Her 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 a biography of Charlotte Bronte. She died suddenly in 1865. Mrs Gaskell today ranks as one of the most highly-regarded British novelists of the Victorian era.

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