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Old 10-07-2014, 05:41 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Gaskell, Elizabeth: Right at Last and Other Tales. v1 7 Oct.2014

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.

Right at Last and Other Tales was the third collection of Mrs Gaskell's shorter fiction published during her life, and is by far the shortest. It contains three short stories: 'Right at Last', 'The Manchester Marriage', and 'The Crooked Branch'; and one novella: Lois the Witch', a fictionalised version of the Salem Witch Trials. The four tales are accounts of injustice and suffering.

The source texts were taken from the University of Adelaide ebooks library, and checked against a pdf of the 1860 Sampson Low edition from the Internet Archive. I have silently corrected typos, curled quotes, restored diacritics and italics, used British English, set letters and documents off as blockquotes, added scene breaks, and made changes to spelling, punctuation, and hyphenation using oxforddictionaries.com.
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