The Gaskell Society
Meetings & Events

The Autumn Meeting
Saturday September 27, 2014
The Methodist Church. Knutsford.

The Joan Leach Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Fran Twinn : ‘Writer’, ‘tiger parent’,‘shopaholic’, ‘socialite’ and ‘control freak’: the many ‘Me’s’ of Elizabeth Gaskell'
More details to follow

Manchester Meetings
Gaskell Society Meetings at Cross Street Chapel

The Manchester meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of
the month in Cross Street Chapel, Manchester
(near The Royal Exchange Theatre) at 1.00pm.

The cost for the Cross Street Chapel lectures are £3 each.

The Chapel will usually be open at 12 o’clock so that you can bring
in lunch from one of the local sandwich bars-or bring your own!
This session's meetings, including the sandwich lunch will be held in the Percival Room, for our convenience.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Ron Thorn: The Diary of Tryall Holcroft
Ron is Honorary Librarian of Macclesfield Silk Museums.

Tryall Holcroft was a contemporary of Elizabeth Gaskell and a real life John Thornton. This 200,000-word diary, ‘being a brief account of remarkable transactions and changes occurring to him through life,’ is a view into the world of a mid-18th century, Manchester-based textile manufacturer.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
Anthony Dawson: William Gaskell and the Crimean War.
Anthony was a post-graduate researcher at the University of Leeds 2010-2013 (graduating with an M.Res.) studying the perception of the Crimean War from soldiers’ letters home.  His interest in Gaskell stems from studying the perception of the Crimean War on the "home front" particularly by the churches - and, being a Unitarian, the Unitarian response.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Bill Hutchings: Jane Austen
Bill is a National Teaching Fellow and a Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. He is a regular lecturer for the Jane Austen Society and a specialist on 18th century poetry. We can look forward to an entertaining lecture and discover whether Gaskell ever read Jane Austen!

Tuesday February 4, 2014
Christine Musgrove:  Mrs Gaskell, Art and Manchester

Mrs. Gaskell’s novel ‘North and South’ contrasts life in southern rural Hampshire with the workers in industrial Manchester. Her concerns, as described in the novel were mirrored in the rise a new social realism in art. This lecture will compare the issues raised in ‘North and South’ with those expressed by her artistic contemporaries.

Christine Musgrove has a MA in art history from the University of Edinburgh. She has curated exhibitions, taught at Manchester University and has been involved in adult education for a wide range of organisations over many years. She has also organised and lectured on study tours to Europe and the Middle East. She is currently a MANCENT lecturer.

Tuesday March 4, 2014 
Elizabeth Williams:  Fanny Trollope
Elizabeth is a former F.E. lecturer, who regularly gives entertaining Gaskell-related talks to the Society and elsewhere. She also leads the discussions at the Knutsford meetings.  Fanny (Frances) Trollope, mother of Anthony Trollope was a novelist in her own right.

For further information about events held at Cross Street Chapel
visit the website here

Knutsford Meetings
Our meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month in
St John's Church parish rooms, Knutsford, Cheshire.

An excellent buffet lunch is served at 12.15 (cost £8, pay on the day)
followed by a talk and discussion, led by Elizabeth Williams which will
start about 1.30pm. Meetings finish about 3p.m.

The sessions will start again on Wednesday 30 October 2013. The novel studied during this session will be Sylvia’s Lovers.

General Meetings

London and South East Branch

Sandwich lunch will be available from 12.45pm. Meetings begin at 2pm and tea and cake will be served after the meeting. Usually the formal part of the meeting finishes about 3.30pm for those needing to catch trains.

Venue: Francis Holland School, Graham Terrace, London.

The entrance is via doors on Graham Terrace, please ring the bell marked ‘RECEPTION’ loudly to gain entry. For security reasons the door must be locked until opened from inside.

The school is a three minute walk from Sloane Square tube station which is on the District and Circle lines and about a 15-20 minute walk from Victoria. There are also buses from Victoria. (Please check running of the tubes as they often carry out engineering work at weekends).

Book Stall: We have a ‘bring and buy’ book stall the proceeds of which go to the renovation of the Gaskell House in Plymouth Grove Manchester. Please bring unwanted books and buy replacements!!

Meetings are £5.00 payable on the day. You are warmly invited. We ask for a contribution of £5.00 for the afternoon to include everything.
Further details from Dr Fran Twinn

Saturday September 14, 2013
Alison Lundie ‘Domestic Arts in Mary Barton and North and South’
Alison Lundie, a founding member of the London Gaskell Reading group, is studying for a PhD at Roehampton. Her talk will focus on shawls and needlewomen in Mary Barton and North and South. Objects in Victorian fiction and the idea of the domestic arts is a current academic themes.

November 9, 2013
Janet Allan : A progress report on The Gaskell House 84 Plymouth the Grove
As you will be aware the house is currently closed for renovation and development thanks to Janet’s successful single handed efforts to secure a lottery grant. We have already heard from Ann Brooks about her plans for the garden, this time we shall learn more about the house!

February 8, 2014    
Dr Ann Brooks the Gaskell Marriage
Ann together with Bryan Haworth who came with her this year to speak about the Portico Library have researched a paper and have some ideas about this marriage. Knowing how much we all enjoy biography I thought this subject would make an interesting afternoon

May 10, 2014
Dr Fran Twinn : ‘Writer’, ‘tiger parent’,‘shopaholic’, ‘socialite’ and ‘control freak’: the many ‘Me’s’ of Elizabeth Gaskell

Fran will speak and then lead a discussion.   She is aware there are many other aspects to Gaskell’s personality but she will focus on these and hope that in discussion members will be able to contribute others!

The Gaskell Society South-West
Events are held in Bath.

Saturday, 12 April, 2014, 2.30pm. 
Dr Patsy Stoneman will speak to us on Such a Life…’Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Bronte – most appropriate as we will have had our discussion groups on the Biography.   The lecture will be held as always at the BRLSI, Queens Square, Bath, and there will be a charge of £2 for members and £4 for non-members.  Coffee and tea will be available after the lecture.

Sunday, 7 September, 2014, 12.30 pm

We will hold our Summer Lunch party at the home of Boyd and Elizabeth Schlenther, 14 Vellore Lane, Bath, and as usual it will be a Bring and Share event.

Saturday, 15 November 2014, 2.30pm
It will be our pleasure to welcome back to Bath Elizabeth Williams, Vice Chairwoman of the national Gaskell Society, to talk to us about Fanny Trollope, another interesting Victorian author.  The meeting will be at the usual venue of the BRLSI, Queen’s Square in Bath, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there. The cost will be £2 for members of the Gaskell Society and the BRLSI and £4 for all others.  Coffee and tea will be available after the lecture.

As a ‘taster’ for next year, our book for discussion in February will be Cranford and the date will be announced later.

Any queries to Elizabeth Schlenther, 14 Vellore Lane, Bath, BA2 6JQ.

Study Tours

Gaskell Study Tour to Italy
20-25 September 2014
"In the footsteps of Mrs Gaskell from Rome to Siena"

This tour is being organised by Anthony, who organised the tour to Rome in 2006. All details are in the following attachments.
Itinerary and Booking Details.
Booking Conditions.

If you are interested, please contact Ann O'Brien as we need to have a minimum number before the flights can be booked.
Details of flights from Heathrow and Manchester are included but he said other airports may also have flights.

The tour which is based on Gaskell's journey from Rome to Siena forms the first part of an article by Christine Lingard, which will appear in the forthcoming Newsletter.

Other Events

The Alliance of Literary Societies - celebrating 40+ years
The ALS AGM and Weekend Event

Thinking of attending an ALS event but not sure whether you will enjoy it? Why not look at some previous events, below? Before that, however, take a look at the programme for the 2014 weekend.

Canterbury: 31 May - 1 June 2014, with the Marlowe Society
Venue: The Schoolroom, The King's School, Canterbury, Kent.

For further details look on the website:

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Mrs Gaskell 1864
Knutsford, Cheshire 1800s
Cross Street Chapel
Manchester 1856
The Gaskell Medallion, Knutsford