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Home > Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell


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Although I majored in English Literature as an undergraduate, I never had the opportunity to read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell as part of that curriculum. Rather, as I noted in the introduction to my first annotated bibliography on this Victorian author, it was over twenty years later when I was pursuing an MA in English and took a course entitled Victorian Prose and Social Change inspiringly taught by Pauline Fletcher at Bucknell University that I first read a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. I subsequently read everything she wrote. In the intervening years, I have devoted the majority of my literary research efforts to documenting the scholarly interest in this novelist, biographer, short story author and consummate letter-writer. Scarecrow Press has published my two annotated bibliographies of secondary sources that record and describe books, book chapters, articles, dissertations and theses published or written between 1976-1991 and 1992-2001. Since 2002, I have tracked and reported subsequent scholarship by posting bibliographic supplements, first on my Bloomsburg University web page and now on this web site. Over the years, I have been most fortunate to be encouraged in this effort by a core of eminent Gaskell scholars: John Chapple, Graham Handley, Joan Leach, Francesco Marroni, Geoffrey Sharps, and Alan Shelston.   
Below is a select listing of Gaskell’s works, citing the first publication. I have also enumerated her collected works. It should be noted that with her growing popularity, many of her works are being published in new paperback editions, accompanied by outstanding introductory essays by today’s leading Gaskell scholars. Penguin Classics, Oxford World’s Classic, Everyman, Wordsworth Classics, and Norton Critical Editions all have included novels, her biography of Charlotte Brontë and, in some cases, select short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell. Similarly, over the past twenty years, numerous audio versions have been issued and, most recently, dramatizations of North and South, Wives and Daughters and Cranford have been presented by the BBC, further contributing to broad interest in her writings. Note: The links below redirect to Project Guttenberg for all texts available online and at no cost to the reader.
Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life, anonymous (2 volumes, London: Chapman & Hall, 1848;1 volume, New York: Harper, 1848).

Libbie Marsh's Three Eras: A Lancashire Tale, as Cotton Mather Mills, Esquire (London:Hamilton, Adams, 1850).
Lizzie Leigh: A Domestic Tale, from "Household Words," attributed to Charles Dickens (NewYork: Dewitt & Davenport, 1850).

The Moorland Cottage, anonymous (London: Chapman & Hall, 1850; New York: Harper, 1851).
Ruth: A Novel, anonymous (3 volumes, London: Chapman & Hall, 1853; 1 volume, Boston:Ticknor, Reed & Fields, 1853).

Cranford, anonymous (London: Chapman & Hall, 1853; New York: Harper, 1853).
Lizzie Leigh and Other Tales, anonymous (London: Chapman & Hall, 1855; Philadelphia: Hardy,1869).

North and South, anonymous (2 volumes, London: Chapman & Hall, 1855; 1 volume, New York:Harper, 1855).

The Life of Charlotte Brontë, Author of "Jane Eyre," "Shirley," "Villette" etc., 2 volumes (London:Smith, Elder, 1857; New York: Appleton, 1857).

My Lady Ludlow, A Novel
(New York: Harper, 1858); republished as Round the Sofa (2 volumes,London: Low, 1858).

Right at Last, and Other Tales (London: Low, 1860; New York: Harper, 1860).
Lois the Witch and Other Tales (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1861).
Sylvia's Lovers (3 volumes, London: Smith, Elder, 1863; 1 volume, New York: Dutton, 1863).
A Dark Night's Work (London: Smith, Elder, 1863; New York: Harper, 1863).
Cousin Phillis: A Tale (New York: Harper, 1864); republished as Cousin Phillis and Other Tales  (London: Smith, Elder, 1865).

The Grey Woman and Other Tales (London: Smith, Elder, 1865; New York: Harper, 1882).
Wives and Daughters: An Every-Day Story (2 volumes, London: Smith, Elder, 1866; 1 volume,New York: Harper, 1866).
The Works of Mrs. Gaskell, Knutsford Edition, edited by A. W. Ward (8 volumes, London: Smith,Elder, 1906-1911).

Works of Elizabeth Gaskell. Joanne Shattock, general editor. (10 volumes, London: Pickering and Chatto, 2005-2006).

Information about the life of Elizabeth Gaskell has taken a variety of forms: thumb-nail entries in such publications as The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers or the Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era; slightly more lengthy biographical treatment emphasizing the different genre in which Gaskell worked (novels, short stories and biography) in volumes 21, 144 and 159 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography; and a range of comprehensive monographsFor a full accounting of these and the numerous journal and newsletter articles published since 1975, check the “Biographies” sections in my annotated bibliographies and bibliographic supplements. Additionally, in spite of Gaskell’s directive to her daughters to destroy her letters, many have survived and have been published in collected form or individually as they have surfaced. Below is a highly selective list of more comprehensive biographical treatment of the life of Elizabeth Gaskell and collections of her letters that provide a vivid window on her life as it was lived
Chapple, J. A. V. Elizabeth Gaskell: A Portrait in Letters. Manchester and NY: Manchester
University Press, 1980; reprint, 2007.

Chapple, J. A. V. Elizabeth Gaskell: The Early Years. Manchester and NY: Manchester University Press, 1997.

Chapple, J. A. V. and Arthur Pollard, eds. The Letters of Mrs. Gaskell. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1966; reprint with corrections, Mandolin, 1997.

Chapple, J. A. V. and Alan Shelston, eds. Further Letters of Mrs. Gaskell. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2000 and 2003.

Foster, Shirley. Elizabeth Gaskell: A Literary Life. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Gérin, Winifred, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976.

Handley, Graham. An Elizabeth Gaskell Chronology. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
Shelston, Alan. Brief Lives: Elizabeth Gaskell. London: Hespersus Press, 2010. 

Uglow, Jenny. Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories. London: Faber & Faber; New York: Farrar
Straus Giroux, 1993.
Curiously, as was noted by John Geoffrey Sharps at the 1995 meeting of the Gaskell Society at St. Hilda’s College (Oxford), bibliographic work recording works by and about Elizabeth Gaskell has been dominated by Americans.    In another curious twist, the first two were published in the same year (1929) and the second two were published in the same year (1977).   My two broke this pattern. The first, covering sources published 1976-1991, was published in 1994; the second, covering works published 1992-2001, was published in 2004. It is updated by bibliographic supplements posted on this web site. Between the various publications listed below and my bibliographic supplements that I update semi-annually, systematic access to virtually all secondary sources on Elizabeth Gaskell is available.
Northup, Clark S. “Bibliography.” Elizabeth Gaskell. Gerald DeWitt Sanders. New Haven, CN:Yale University Press for Cornell University, 1929. 163-267
Selig, Robert L. Elizabeth Gaskell: A Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1977.
Smith, Walter E. Elizabeth Gaskell: A Bibliographic Catalog of First and Early Editions, 1848-1866.

Welch, Jeffrey Egan. Elizabeth Gaskell: An Annotated Bibliography, 1929-1975. New York:Garland, 1977.

Weyant, Nancy S. Elizabeth Gaskell: An Annotated Bibliography of English Language Sources, 1976-1991.Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1994.

Weyant, Nancy S. Elizabeth Gaskell: An Annotated Bibliography of English Language Sources, 1992-2001.     Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 2004.

Whitfield, Archie Stanton. “A Bibliography of the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell and a listing of Biographical and Critical Notices.” Mrs. Gaskell: Her Life and Work. London: George Rutledge & Sons Ltd., 1929.


Review of Place and Progress in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell LesaScholl, Emily Morris and Sarina Gruver Moore, Eds. Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate, 2015. Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens 83 (May, 2016).


"Chronology." Evil and Its Variations in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell: Sesquicentennial Essays. Ed. Mitsuharu Matsuoka. Osaka, JP: Osaka Kyoiku Tosho, 2015.


"Lionizing Gaskell:  The Gaskell Journal Goes On-line." The Gaskell Society Newsletter 57 (Spring, 2014): 22-23, 26.


Review of Elizabeth Gaskell. Ruth. Edited with a New Introduction and Notes by Tim Dolin. Oxford's World Classics. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2011. Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens 76 (October, 2012), 184-186.


"Elizabeth Gaskell's Encounters with the Internet Technology of the 21st Century." The Gaskell Society Newsletter 52 (Autumn 2011): 15-16, 19.


Review of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford: A Publishing History by Thomas Recchio. The Gaskell Journal 24 (2010): 142-145.


"A Newly Discovered Letter of Introduction Returns to England." Gaskell Society Newsletter 47 (Spring, 2009): 13-16.


“Chronology of the Life of Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell.”  Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Gaskell.  Ed. Jill Matus.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.


Elizabeth Gaskell: An Annotated Bibliography of English Language Sources,1992-2001. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 2004. 


"Gaskell’s Works Now Searchable via New Hyper-Concordance." Gaskell Society Newsletter 37 (March, 2004).


Review of Elizabeth C. Gaskell:  A Bibliographic Catalog of First and Early Editions, 1848-1866, by Walter Smith.  The Papers of the Bibliographic Society of America 94.1 (2000):  445-447.


Elizabeth Gaskell: An Annotated Bibliography of English Language Sources, 1976- 1991. Metuchen, NJ:  Scarecrow Press, 1994.



------------------------------------------ PHOTO CREDIT:  Reproduced by courtesy of the University Librarian and Director, The John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester.

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