Elizabeth Gaskell – English novelist whose writing tackled social issues, author of ‘Cranford’, ‘North and South’ and ‘Wives and Daughters’.
Born in London in 1810 into a middle-class Unitarian family, Gaskell spent much of her early life in Cheshire and is strongly connected with Brook Street Chapel and Heritage Exhibition Knutsford.
She married Rev. William Gaskell, minister of Cross Street Unitarian Chapel, Manchester City Centre and they raised a family together. The death of their infant son, William, was the catalyst for Gaskell writing her first novel, ‘Mary Barton’ (1848) and the beginning of a prolific literary career. She was a committed and active lifelong Unitarian.
Elizabeth died of a heart attack in 1865, aged just 55. Today, Gaskell’s book are widely read and adapted for film and television. You can find out more about her life and work by visiting Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.
Wakefield Unitarians are a friendly and growing congregation based in the historic Grade II listed Westgate Chapel in the heart of Wakefield.