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Elizabeth Gaskell
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Author
    (September 29, 1810-November 12, 1865)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Elizabeth Stevenson
    Wrote the novels 'Mary Barton' (1848), 'Carnford' (1853), 'Ruth' (1853), 'North and South' (1955), 'Sylvia's Lovers' (1863) and 'Wives and Daughters: An Everyday Story' (1865)
    Contributed short stories to Charles Dickens' magazine 'Household Words'
    Despite criticizing Victorian attitudes towards women in some of her novels, she followed the convention of the day by publishing as just 'Mrs. Gaskell.'
    Her biography of Charlotte Bronte had to be withdrawn and re-edited due to a threatened lawsuit over her claim that Bronte's brother Branwell had been fired from his first job following an affair with his employer's wife.
    Although she wrote Bronte's biography, she refused to cooperate with anyone trying to write her biography, saying 'I do not see why the public have any more to do with me than buy or reject the ware I supply to them.'
    Her mother died three months after giving birth to her, and her father sent her to be raised by her aunt and uncle.
    Her novels are of interest to social historians for their detailed depiction of the different levels of Victorian society.
    After an argument with Dickens (who wanted to impose a happy ending on one of her stories), he wrote to an editor, 'If I were Mr. G, oh heaven how I would beat her!'

Credit: C. Fishel


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