Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Birth with a Blog Tour on September 29th, 2010

“He shrank from hearing Margaret’s very name mentioned; he, while he blamed her–while he was jealous of her–while he renounced her–he loved her sorely, in spite of himself.” Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

2010 marks the bicentenary of mid-Victorian novelist and short story writer Elizabeth Gaskell’s birth on September 29th, 1810 near London. Best known for her detailed and sensitive portrayals of English social strata, her novels are cherished by literature lovers and social historians for their honest depiction of the life of rich and poor from the first half of the nineteenth century. Five of her books have also been brought vividly to the screen in television mini-series adaptations: The Brontes of Haworth (1973), North and South (1975 & 2004), Wives and Daughters (1999), Cranford (2007) and Return to Cranford (2009).

To honor Mrs. Gaskell’s literary achievement, please join me and other fellow Gaskell enthusiasts for a blog tour in celebration of her birthday. Visit any of the participant’s blogs on Wednesday, September 29th to read about her life and times, and reviews of books and movie film adaptations. On each of the sites you will also find a link to take you to the next blog on the tour. Enjoy!


  • 1.) Elizabeth Gaskell’s life and times: Vic – Jane Austen’s World


  • 2.) Mary Barton (1848) Book: Kelly – Jane Austen Sequel Examiner
  • 3.) Cranford (2007) Movie: Laura – The Calico Critic
  • 4.) Ruth (1853) Book: Joanna – Regency Romantic
  • 5.) North and South (1854–5) Book: Laurel Ann – Austenprose
  • 6.) North and South (2004) Movie: Maria – Fly High
  • 7.) Sylvia’s Lovers (1863) Book: Courtney – Stiletto Storytime
  • 8.) Wives and Daughters (1865) Book: Katherine – November’s Autumn
  • 9.) Wives and Daughters (1999) Movie: Elaine – Random Jottings
  • 10.) The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857) Book & (1973) Movie, The Brontes of Haworth: JaneGS – Reading, Writing, Working, Playing


  • 11. Mr. Harrison’s Confessions (1851) Book: Alexandra – The Sleepless Reader
  • 12. My Lady Ludlow (1859) Book: Alexandra – The Sleepless Reader
  • 13. Cousin Phillis (1864) Book: Alexandra – The Sleepless Reader


  • 14.) Your Gaskell Library – Links to MP3’s, ebooks, audio books, other downloads and reading resources available online: Janite Deb – Jane Austen in Vermont
  • 15) Plymouth Grove – A Visit to Elizabeth Gaskell’s home in Manchester: Tony Grant – London Calling

Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom.” Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters

Portrait of Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (née Stevenson), by George Richmond, chalk, 1851. Bequeathed to the © National Portrait Gallery, London by the sitter’s daughter, Margaret Emily Gaskell, 1913

Elizabeth Gaskell birthday blog tour graphic by Katherine Cox of November’s Autumn

36 thoughts on “Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Birth with a Blog Tour on September 29th, 2010

Add yours

    1. Hi Lauren: I would love to be included in the Elizabeth Gaskell tour. I first heard of her through the movie Cranford on PBS and have since read the book. I also loved Wives and Daughters and North and South.

      Thanks for opportunity to participate.



  1. She was a lovely woman. I like the simplicity of her portrait.

    I will have to look through my vast pile of books and shelves to see what I have of hers.
    This should be a delightful tour.


  2. Will there be a touring coach? I’m very interested in this. I don’t know enough about Gaskell and her works, but I do know that she brought attention to the downtrodden. Count me in–please! Mary


  3. I love Gaskell’s works. I have all the books tho’ I’ve only read two of them. I love her writing. It is a bit more challenging in some respects compared to Austen. The wording with the different dialects to me is a bit of a hurdle at times but it does make it so enjoyable once you’re into it. I can’t quite make up my mind if Wives and Daughters or North and South is my favorite. The moves for both are also incredible. I think I like North and South best with Richard Armitage in the lead male role. His portrayal is incredible. Just make sure you take the time to watch both discs. The ending doesn’t match the book but for a rarity I prefer the movie even if it’s a bit unlikely. It is in my opinion the supreme romantic ending. It just takes your breath away. But I watched Wives and Daughters first and it has a special place in my heart. The intimacy between characters is so well done. Here again have a tissue and try and watch both discs if you watch the movie. They are heartwrenching at times. Gaskell’s work definitely hits on more of the social and political issues of the time period. The industrial revolution in North and South isn’t dry historical events however it is very enjoyable for one as myself who has never been great with history. (depends on the subject obviously) Cranford is a bit sad for me but wonderfully done. The others are kind of on a sadder note also so be prepared with your hankie. Cranford the movie is also good of course. There needs to be less horrible stuff on the news or whatever before I watch or read the more dramatic stories or it saddens me. Obviously a testament to how involved with the characters one is likely to get. It is valuable in so many ways but as with so much in history it isn’t rosy. I’ve lent many of my books and movies to friends and I have to say they always end up getting one or the other on their own to enjoy.


  4. Looking forward to this blog tour as well! Just point me to the right bus… =D

    I can’t wait to learn more about Gaskell and her works, as my journey on discovering her is also in its infancy. Thanks for inviting me to be part of this tour, Laurel Ann! =)


  5. This is such perfect timing. I’m in the middle of re-reading “Wives and Daughters” AND re-watching “North and South.” I can’t wait for the tour!


  6. “Four of her books have also been brought vividly to the screen in television mini-series adaptations: The Brontes of Haworth (1973), Wives and Daughters (1999), Cranford (2007) and Return to Cranford (2009).”

    I believe that you have forgotten “NORTH AND SOUTH”, which was adapted twice – in 1975 and in 2004.


  7. Thank you for putting this together for us. I fell in love with her when I first watched Wives and Daughters. I had to buy the book, and I wasn’t disappointed. North & South is my absolute favorite movie and I lend it to friends all the time, so much so, I had to buy myself a second copy so I can watch it myself. I love the book as well. Love both the Cranford movies and although I did buy the book, sadly I haven’t read it yet. I just recently got her biography on Charlotte Bronte, I have yet to read more than a few pages.

    Looking forward to this celebration!


  8. Lovely! I wrote my Master’s thesis on Gaskell last year. To add to your film adaptation list, the BBC also did “North and South” in 2004 (?). I wish they would do “Mary Barton” — it would make a great mini-series.

    For those interested in her books, along with the popular “Wives and Daughters,” “North and South,” etc., I recommend “Ruth.” Yes, it’s a bit of chastisement of pregnancy out of wedlock, but Gaksell makes it more interesting than a cliched cautionary tale.

    Also, the biography of Gaskell by Jenny Uglow is wonderful!


  9. How lovely! Elizabeth Gaskell is my favorite Victorian author. So happy to know others love her work.

    Can’t wait for the tour. :D


  10. I’m perhaps prejudiced because I write about strong women operating in a difficult culture (different from hers), but I’ve always felt that Gaskell has not gotten the respect she deserves.

    So thanks for this post!


  11. “NORTH AND SOUTH”, which was adapted in 1975????????

    Ok, i didn’t know about that one…where can I get it????? do you guys know? I checked already amazon…but nothing about that one…

    I have all her books and all her movies, except N&S’75 =(… Count me in for the 29th!!! …..


    1. Hie Elsie, the 1975 North and South was a BBC television production staring Patrick Stewart. I do not believe it is available on DVD. It would be very interesting to see him in the role of John Thornton and compare it with the 2004 mini-series.


      1. I have being looking in internet to see if I can find it, DVD, VHS, or even just pictures, but looks like an impossible mission…I would love to compare it as well…if I find something I will let you guys know…and if anyone knows where can I get it I will really appreciate it…

        My beloved N&S!


  12. Yay! I adore Mrs. Gaskell and I agree with Allison that Mary Barton should be next on someone’s list to adapt into a miniseries. Perhaps Sandy Welch who did such a good job on the script of North & South would tackle it. Shall we suggest it to her?

    Looking forward to next Wed!


    1. Hi Sara, happy to see your interest. The tour is very simple. The first participant will be Vic at Jane Austen’s World and she will have a link to take you to the next participant and so on. The tour starts on Sept 29th and includes 15 blog posts. I hope you enjoy it. Elizabeth Gaskell is a wonderful author. Cheers, Laurel Ann


  13. I am so glad to see you are doing this in honor of Mrs. Gaskell’s birthday. She is a lovely writer and a great roll model for women. I’m really looking forward to this.


  14. I love Elizabeth Gaskell’s works and the beauty of her characters! I’m so happy to find people who actually know who she is.


Please join in and have your share of the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: