Elizabeth Gaskell

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Gaskell, Elizabeth

 

Born Sept. 29, 1810, in London; died Nov. 12, 1865, in Holybourne, Hampshire. English author.

Gaskell’s first major work was the social novel Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life (1848; Russian translation, 1860), which showed how hunger and poverty can lead the working people to thoughts of insurrection. Gaskell was the first English novelist to work with the theme of the Chartist struggle. The novel Cranford (1853) depicts the life of the small-town provincial. In the novel Ruth (1853), the story of a female worker who refuses to marry the “gentleman” who had seduced her is treated with respect, but religious and sentimental tendencies are intensified in North and South (1855). However, in both Sylvia’s Lovers (1863) and Wives and Daughters (1866; unfinished), one can find realistic passages. Gaskell also wrote a biography of Charlotte Brontë (vols. 1-2, 1857). Karl Marx placed Gaskell, along with Dickens and Charlotte Brontë, among the “brilliant pleiad of English novelists…” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 10, p. 648).

WORKS

Works, vols. 1-8. Edited by A. W. Ward. [London] 1907.
Letters. [Manchester, 1966.]
In Russian translation:
Sever i Iug. Moscow, 1857.
Ruf. In Vremia, 1863, no. 4. (Unfinished.)
Gorodok Krenford. St. Petersburg, 1867.
Zheny i docheri. In Otechestvennye zapiski, 1867, vols. 171-75.
Meri Barton. [Introduction by A. Elistratova] Moscow, 1963.

REFERENCES

Shiller, F. P. “Elizaveta Gaskel’.” Iz istorii realizma XIX v. na Zapade. Moscow, 1934.
Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 2, part 2. Moscow, 1955.
Grossman, L. “Dostoevskii i chartistskii roman.” Voprosy literatury, 1959, no. 4.
Hopkins, A. B. Elizabeth Gaskell: Her Life and Work. London [1952].
Pollard, A. Mrs. Gaskell: Novelist and Biographer. Cambridge, Mass., 1966.

I. M. KATARSKII