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Old 03-04-2015, 10:30 PM   #1
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Gaskell, Elizabeth: Wives and Daughters. v1 5 Mar 2015

Elizabeth Gaskell was a Victorian writer, mother, wife of a Unitarian minister,
colleague and rival of Charles Dickens, and social activist. She was born in London in 1810, the daughter of a Unitarian minister. Her mother died soon after the birth, and she was raised by an aunt in Knutsford. Her happy memories of Knutsford inspired Cranford, her best known work. In 1832 she married William Gaskell, and they settled in the industrial city of Manchester where she lived until shortly before her death in 1865, busy in motherhood and being a minister’s wife. The death of her only son in infancy strengthened her sense of identity with the poor and her desire to relieve their suffering, and her husband encouraged her to write. Her most prominent traits were compassion and tolerance.

Wives and Daughters was Mrs Gaskell's last novel, and was not quite finished at her death. Francis Greenwood, then editor of the Cornhill Magazine, provided 'Concluding Remarks' based on Mrs Gaskells's comments to her daughter Meta on how she intended the book to end.

The book was serialised in the Cornhill Magazine August 1864 to January 1866, and first published in England by Smith Elder and Co. in 1866. The story is about the romances of Molly Gibbons and her father, stepsister, and two sons of the local squire; all set against a background of rigidly enforced 'stations in life' and 'nervous illness'. It is the least religious of Mrs Gaskell's writings.

'The source text was Project Gutenberg 4274-h.htm, checked against a pdf
version of the 1866 Smith Elder edition from the Internet Archive. I have
silently corrected typos, curled quotes, and made changes to spelling and
hyphenation using oxforddictionaries.com.
This work is assumed to be in the Life+70 public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. Copyright laws differ throughout the world, and it may still be under copyright in some countries. Before downloading, please check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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