Author. Elizabeth Gaskell was born Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson in Lindsey Row, Chelsea, London. Her mother died 13 months after giving birth, and her father sent her to live with an aunt. From 1821 to 1826 she attended schools where she received the traditional education in arts, the classics, decorum and propriety given to young ladies at the time. Her aunts gave her the classics to read, and she was encouraged by her father and brother in her studies and writing. In 1832 she married William Gaskell. In 1836 she co-authored with her husband a cycle of poems, “Sketches among the Poor,” which was published in January 1837. In 1840 she published “Clopton Hall”, under the pseudonym "A Lady", the first work written and published solely by her, then in April 1840 she published “Notes on Cheshire Customs.” German literature came to have a strong influence on her short stories, the first of which she published in 1847 as “Libbie Marsh's Three Eras,” under the pseudonym "Cotton Mather Mills". Her second story printed under the pseudonym was “The Sexton's Hero,” then she used that pseudonym for the final time in 1848, with the publication of her story “Christmas Storms and Sunshine.” Her son died in infancy, and she began writing her first novel to escape the grief of losing him. “Mary Barton” was published in October 1848. The story brought the slums of manufacturing in Manchester alive to readers, and sold thousands of copies. In 1850 the family moved Manchester; there she wrote her remaining works. “Lizzie Leigh” was published in March and April 1850, in the first volumes of Charles Dickens's journal Household Words. Many of her works were published in that journal, including “Cranford” and “North and South,” her novella “My Lady Ludlow,” and some short stories. She wrote a biography, “The Life of Charlotte Brontë,” which was published in 1857, and which was a major contributor to her literary career. In 1859 she began to gather material for “Sylvia's Lovers,” which was published in 1863. Her novella “Cousin Phyllis” was serialized from November 1863 to February 1864. The serialization of her last novel, “Wives and Daughters,” began in August 1864, then was published in book form in early 1866.
Bio by: Pete Mohney
1805–1884 (m. 1832)