Why I Love...Elizabeth Gaskell

Throughout the literary world, there are several authors who are severely underrated.  I don't really know why or what causes such authors to be considered "not as good" as those high-brow, canonized writers of literature, but, without fail, those poor, under appreciated authors somehow manage to eek out a loyal following.  So, in honor of the hidden gems in the literary world, I am honoring my favorite underrated author for this week's "Why I Love..." edition.

That being said, cue the wonderful, talented, and severely underrated Elizabeth Gaskell.  Who? most ask.  Well let me tell you!  Mrs. Gaskell, as she's often referred to, is a British writer from the Victorian era.  Most notable are her novels:  Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters.  She's also quite notable for writing the first biography of Charlotte Bronte.  The majority of her work deals with social issues and the likes.  However, she is also a quite accomplished writer of Gothic fiction, prodded on by Charles Dickens and published in his Household Words

Though most of her work sticks to the parameters of the Victorian norm, she does branch out and actually critiques attitudes, the roles of women, working conditions, and so on.  These divergent themes help her to stand out in an otherwise constrained style of writing.  In addition, the wonderful BBC production company has turned some of her novels (mainly the ones mentioned above) into absolutely wonderful mini-series and they are definitely worth the watch.

And for a small treat...a portion of the BBC production of North and South (my favorite)!


  1. I've never read this author but North and South has been recommended to me numerous times. Lovely post.


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