31 July 2011

Elizabeth Gaskell House, Manchester

Novelist and authoress of 'Mary Barton',
'Cranford' and many other works
lived here

I'm sure there must be many people like me who wince at the use of the term 'authoress': it smacks of 18th or 19th century male disparagement, and spoils the effect of the plaque. How come no one spotted it? At least she's no longer referred to as 'Mrs Gaskell'.

Elizabeth Gaskell House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, where the novelist lived with her Unitarian minister husband William and their four daughters. It is also where Gaskell wrote most of her published work, and where guests included Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Restoration has been under way for some time, and the awful pink paint has now gone. Unfortunately, so too has most of the roof, from which lead was stolen in May this year, adding another £250,000 to the projected cost of the restoration.

The rear of the house. An earlier post I made about Gaskell's Knutsford, Cheshire (where she spent her earlier years) is here.

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