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Elizabeth Gaskell was born on September 29, 1810 to a Unitarian clergyman, who was also a civil servant and journalist. Her mother died when she was young, and she was brought up by her aunt in Knutsford, a small village that was the prototype for Cranford, Hollingford and the setting for numerous other short stories. In 1832, she married William Gaskell, a Unitarian clergyman in Manchester. She participated in his ministry and collaborated with him to write the poem Sketches among the Poor in 1837. Our Society at Cranford was the first two chapters of Cranford and it appeared in Dickens' Household Words in 1851. Dickens liked it so much that he pressed Gaskell for more episodes, and she produced eight more of them between 1852 and 1853. She also wrote My Lady Ludlow and Lois the Witch, a novella that concerns the Salem witch trials. Wives and Daughters ran in Cornhill from August 1864 to January 1866. The final installment was never written but the ending was known and the novel exists now virtually complete. The story centers on a series of relationships between family groups in Hollingford. Most critics agree that her greatest achievement is the short novel Cousin Phillis. Gaskell was also followed by controversy. In 1853, she offended many readers with Ruth, which explored seduction and illegitimacy that led the "fallen woman" into ostracism and inevitable prostitution. The novel presents the social conduct in a small community when tolerance and morality clash. Critics praised the novel's moral lessons but Gaskell's own congregation burned the book and it was banned in many libraries. In 1857, The Life of Charlotte Brontë was published. The biography was initially praised but angry protests came from some of the people it dealt with. Gaskell was against any biographical notice of her being written during her lifetime. After her death on November 12, 1865, her family refused to make family letters or biographical data available. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from North and South
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North and South 6,527 copies, 222 reviews
Cranford 4,010 copies, 120 reviews
Wives and Daughters 3,768 copies, 77 reviews
Mary Barton 2,427 copies, 61 reviews
The Life of Charlotte Brontë 1,342 copies, 19 reviews
Ruth 959 copies, 22 reviews
Sylvia's Lovers 538 copies, 11 reviews
Gothic Tales 531 copies, 13 reviews
Cranford / Cousin Phillis 355 copies, 8 reviews
Cousin Phillis 234 copies, 10 reviews
Lois the Witch 172 copies, 6 reviews
Cranford and Other Stories 165 copies, 6 reviews
The Moorland Cottage 147 copies, 10 reviews
My Lady Ludlow 140 copies, 7 reviews
The Poor Clare 94 copies, 5 reviews
Mr. Harrison's Confessions 77 copies, 4 reviews
The Grey Woman and other Tales 39 copies, 2 reviews
The Half-Brothers 33 copies, 2 reviews
Lizzie Leigh 28 copies, 2 reviews
The Grey Woman 28 copies, 2 reviews
Round the Sofa 27 copies, 1 review
The Manchester Marriage 9 copies, 1 review
Uncle Peter 7 copies
Ruth - And Other Tales 6 copies, 1 review
Right at Last 5 copies, 1 review
Crowley Castle 4 copies, 1 review
The Sexton's Hero 3 copies, 1 review
Morton Hall 3 copies, 1 review
French Life 3 copies
The Heart of John Middleton 2 copies, 1 review
(all) 1 copy
Mrs Gaskell Cranford (Author) 1 copy
The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories (Contributor) 464 copies, 6 reviews
The Haunted House (Contributor) 336 copies, 14 reviews
Ghosts: A Treasury of Chilling Tales Old & New (Contributor) 288 copies, 2 reviews
The Fireside Book of Christmas Stories (Contributor) 258 copies, 2 reviews
Gothic Short Stories (Contributor) 205 copies, 1 review
A House to Let (Contributor) 183 copies, 6 reviews
The Portable Victorian Reader (Contributor) 168 copies
The Virago Book of Ghost Stories (Contributor) 126 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories (Contributor) 113 copies, 1 review
North and South [2004 TV mini series] (Original book) 113 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (Contributor) 107 copies
Chilling Horror Short Stories (Contributor) 80 copies
Delphi Complete Works of Charles Dickens (Illustrated) (Contributor, some editions) 67 copies
Selected Stories from the 19th Century (Contributor) 61 copies, 1 review
The Twelve Frights of Christmas (Contributor) 57 copies, 2 reviews
Delphi Complete Works of the Brontës (Contributor, some editions) 49 copies, 1 review
Women of the Weird: Eerie Stories by the Gentle Sex (Contributor) 39 copies, 2 reviews
Supernatural Horror Short Stories (Contributor) 38 copies
Return to Cranford [2009 TV series] (Original book) 37 copies
Cranford [Oxford Bookworms] 34 copies, 2 reviews
65 Great Murder Mysteries (Contributor) 31 copies
Small Shadows Creep (Contributor) 31 copies
Stories To Get You Through The Night (Contributor) 28 copies
The Mystery Book (Contributor) 26 copies
Great English Short Stories (Contributor) 17 copies, 1 review
Regarding "Jane Eyre" (Contributor) 16 copies
Horror by Lamplight (Contributor) 15 copies
Dark Holidays: A Collection of Ghost Stories (Contributor) 13 copies, 1 review
The Cold Embrace: Weird Stories by Women (Contributor) 12 copies, 1 review
Shapes of the Supernatural (Contributor) 11 copies, 1 review
An Adult's Garden of Bloomers (Contributor) 7 copies
More ghosts and marvels (Contributor) 7 copies
The Trials of Love (Contributor) 6 copies
Best of Women's Short Stories, Volume I (Contributor) 4 copies, 1 review
The Anthology of Love and Romance (Contributor) 4 copies
December Tales (Contributor) 3 copies
Wigilia Pełna Duchów (Contributor) 3 copies
North and South [1975 TV miniseries] (Original book) 3 copies
Famous Stories of Five Centuries (Contributor) 3 copies
Evergreen Stories (Contributor) 3 copies
Classic British Short Stories (Contributor) 2 copies
Short Stories of the Past (Contributor) 1 copy

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