The Works of Elizabeth Gaskell, Volume 4; Volume 6; Volumes 8-10
Elizabeth Gaskell’s sudden death in November 1865, at the height of her career, prompted the Athenaeum to lament the passing of ‘if not the most popular, with small question, the most powerful and finished female novelist of an epoch singularly rich in female novelists’ (18 November 1865). Few of Gaskell's contemporaries were willing to consign her exclusively to the ranks of ‘lady novelists’, and late Victorian memoirists and critics measured her achievements against those of Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot.
Gaskell’s literary output was prolific and varied. As well as five major novels she also wrote several novellas – the most famous of which, Cranford, was for many years her best known work – numerous short stories and articles for the periodical press, and an acclaimed biography of her friend Charlotte Brontë (1857). These volumes reveal a writer who excelled in many genres, and whose impact on the world of mid-Victorian publishing was far-reaching.
The Works of Elizabeth Gaskell is the first comprehensive critical edition of her work to be published. It brings together, for the first time, her journalism, some of which has never been republished, her extensive shorter fiction, which was published in various collections during her lifetime, her early personal writing, including a diary written between 1835 and 1838 when she was a young mother, her five full-length novels and The Life of Charlotte Brontë.
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