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    Two Wonderful Elizabeth Gaskell Novels. An English novelist and short story writer, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, 1810-1865, is today ranked among the most highly regarded British novelists of the Victorian era. Much of her childhood was spent in Cheshire, where she lived with an aunt in Knutsford, a town she would later immortalise as Cranford. Gaskell's first novel, Mary Barton, was published anonymously in 1848. The best-known of her remaining novels are Cranford (1853), North and South (1854), and Wives and Daughters (1865). She became a popular writer, especially for her Gothic ghost stories, aided by her friend Charles Dickens, who published her work in Household Words. Even though her writing largely conforms to Victorian conventions, including signing her name "Mrs. Gaskell", she usually frames her stories as critiques of Victorian era attitudes, particularly those toward women, with complex narratives and dynamic female characters, often incorporating colorful local dialect. In addition to her fiction, Gaskell also wrote the first biography of contemporary author Charlotte Bronte, which played a significant role in developing Ms. Bronte's literary reputation. Two of Elizabeth Gaskell's more famous titles are offered here.

    North and South, (London: Chapman and Hall, 1855), two-volumes, 8vo, brown cloth binding, Volume I has 320 pages, followed by 4 pages of advertising; Volume II contains 361 pages. The set is generally very good, with Volume I showing some wear to the boards, while the head and tail of the spine show slight bumping and chipping. There is a half-inch tear at the top front edge of the spine on Volume II, with some bumping to the corners.

    Cranford, (London: Chapman & Hall, nd), with 24 color illustrations by Evelyn Paul, 247 pages, brown cloth binding with gilt floral decorations. This copy of Cranford is very good, with only minor bumping of the spine head and tail. From the Betty Bennett Collection.

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    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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