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Old 08-13-2014, 03:12 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Gaskell, Elizabeth: Cousin Phillis and Other Tales (Illustrated). v1 13 August 2014

Elizabeth Gaskell was a Victorian writer, mother, wife of a Unitarian minister, and social activist.

She was born in London in 1810, the daughter of a Unitarian minister. After her mother's death when she was four she was raised by an aunt in Knutsford, and 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
seem to me to be compassion and tolerance.

Cousin Phillis and Other Tales contains 'Cousin Phillis', perhaps the best of Mrs Gaskill's shorter fiction, and a tale of hero worship and unrequited love; 'Company Manners', a mildly satirical essay on running receptions and conversation groups; 'Mr Harrison's Confessions', a novella which was used in the 2007 BBC adaptation of Cranford,' dealing with the romantic escapades of a new doctor in a country town; and 'The Sexton's Hero', a short story about a pacifist who saves a couple at the cost of his own life.

The source text for 'Cousin Phillis' was Project Gutenberg 4268-h.htm, and for the other tales was the University of Adelaide ebook collection. They were hecked against a pdf of the 1865 Smith, Elder & Co edition. I have silently corrected typos, curled quotes, corrected diacritics and italics, used British English, made changes to spelling, punctuation, and hyphenation using oxforddictionaries.com, set letters and documents off as blockquotes, and added a bibliography.
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